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YouTube could face massive royalties bills after court loss

April 20, 2012
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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.

Written by Bryne Yancey

Position: Former Web Editor HQ: Orlando, FL (soon to be Cleveland, OH) Nice to meet you! I'm Bryne Yancey, the former web editor for Alternative Press. Prior to joining AP full-time, I volunteered at Punknews.org and freelanced for Myspace Music and AP, writing reviews and such.  I enjoy 80s thrash metal, leather-jacket pop-punk, obscure 90s/2000s emo, contemporary crust-core, and plenty in between. I'm a big fan of pizza, nachos, dessert, sleeveless t-shirts, wearing shorts year-round, sunglasses, science fiction, dry humor, horror, the Florida Marlins, the Orlando Magic, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Vinyl is great; Spotify is equally and differently great. Green Day's "Dookie," Bad Religion's "All Ages," and the Suicide Machines' "Battle Hymns" changed my life. I don't think our scene has ever been as exciting or promising as it is right now. Top ten albums OF ALL TIME (but in no particular order): Saves The Day - Stay What You Are Green Day - Warning Jimmy Eat World - Futures Snapcase - Designs For Automotion Hot Water Music - Caution Metallica - ...And Justice For All The Suicide Machines - Battle Hymns Bad Religion - The Process of Belief The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told Descendents - ALL Twitter | Tumblr