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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 May 2012 @ 8:45am

    Probably not a very good ruling, because it leads to the very next question: who are the users?

    It seems clear that this will be the next step, and when YouTube is unable to determine the users, the question of legal liability will come right back up.

    They cannot have it both ways, can they?

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