YouTube could face massive royalties bills after court loss

April 20 2012, 11:34 AM EDT By Bryne Yancey

YouTube could be in trouble in Germany after a Hamburg court ruled the video sharing site was responsible for content users upload to the site, including copyrighted music. Via BBC News:

"It wants the video site to install filters that spot when users try to post music clips whose rights are held by royalty collection group, Gema.

The German industry group said in court that YouTube had not done enough to stop copyrighted clips being posted.

YouTube said it took no responsibility for what users did, but responded when told of copyright violations.

'We welcome this decision,' said a spokesman for YouTube owner Google, adding that the decision created legal certainty for uploading sites and those using them.

Gema's court case was based on 12 separate music clips posted to the website. The ruling concerns seven of the 12 clips.

If YouTube is forced to pay royalties for all the clips used on the site it will face a huge bill.

Gema represents about 60,000 German song writers and musicians.

If enforced, the ruling could also slow the rate at which video is posted to the site as any music clip would have to be cleared for copyright before being used."

What do you think of the ruling? Should YouTube be held responsible for the actions of its users, and to what extent? Let us know in the comments.