Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
france, liability

google, tf1, viacom

French Court Says Google Not Liable For Infringing Works Uploaded To YouTube

from the makes-sense dept

In a case that appears to parallel the Viacom/YouTube case in the US, French TV network TF1 sued YouTube/Google (and competitor Dailymotion), claiming that those sites were liable for infringing videos uploaded to the site. However, in a new ruling, a French court has dismissed the case. As with other, similar cases, the French court found that Google had made "sufficiently adequate efforts" to takedown infringing content when it found out about it. More specifically, the court properly noted that users were responsible for content uploaded, rather than the site.
"The defendant is not responsible in principle for the video content on its site; only the users of the site are," the decision reads.

"It has no obligation to police the content before it is put online as long as it informs users that posting television shows, music videos, concerts or advertisements without prior consent of the owner is not allowed."
The case went so poorly for TF1 that it was told to pay Google's legal expenses. TF1 has suggested that it will appeal, calling the ruling "surprising."

There have been a series of similar lawsuits filed around the globe, with mixed results, but hopefully we're reaching an era where courts (and companies) finally understand that a platform should never be directly liable for the actions of its users.

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  1. icon
    Pro Se (profile), 31 May 2012 @ 6:45am

    Re: Legal Fees

    The general rule in the US is that each party bears its own costs unless a statute provides otherwise or the court, applying principles of equity established via "court made" law, so-called "common law", determines that a case is sufficiently egregious that costs are appropriate under the circumstances.

    Some countries assess costs in favor of a prevailing party as a routine matter. The US does not. There are, however, arguments in favor of both approaches, and in many instances each can impose a heavy, and at times an even unfair, burden on the parties.

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