German court puts on the screws on YouTube to cull copyrighted videos

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A German court is putting the screws on YouTube to include copyright filters on the site to spot when users upload files copyrighted by GEMA, reports the BBC. According to the news company, “YouTube could face a huge bill for royalties after it lost a court battle in Germany over music videos.”

GEMA, a German industry group, argued that YouTube had not done enough to stop copyrighted music videos from being uploaded. YouTube responded that it took no legal responsibility for user behaviour. Later the video sharing site said that it currently had systems in place to check and remove content which infringes on copyrights.

“GEMA’s court case was based on 12 separate music clips posted to the website. The ruling concerns seven of the 12 clips,” says the BBC.

If YouTube refuses to comply it is likely to face a hefty fine.

The court case has been going on since 2010 it was a result of a breakdown of talks between YouTube and GEMA about royalties. GEMA has sustained several victories against sites it has sued for copyright infringement and a YouTube win will mean a big payday for the group.

“In 2009, file-sharing site Rapidshare was told to start filtering songs users were uploading following action by Gema. In March, 2012 a second judgement told Rapidshare to be more proactive when hunting down content pirated by users,” says the BBC.

GEMA currently represents a sum total of 60 000 German songwriters and musicians.

YouTube’s parent company, Google, has yet to comment on the matter.

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