Feeds

MySpace succumbs to The Buttock

C'est un éditeur!

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

The Buttock has successfully sued MySpace for copyright infringement. Late last month, a French High Court ruled that the popular U.S.-based social networking site acts as a publisher as well as a hosting service, making it liable for unauthorized broadcasts of films from the French comedian known as "Lafesse." Yes, that's how it translates.

The Court ordered the site to remove the unauthorized videos or pay 1,000 euros for each day they remain online. According to the ruling, MySpace is also required to pay an additional 61,000 euros for "commercial prejudice," infringement of "moral" and "personal" rights, and plaintiff legal fees. MySpace, which did not send a lawyer to the court hearing, still has an opportunity to appeal.

Jeans-Yves Lafesse is a kind of Gallic Sasha Baron Cohen, well known for filming none-too-serious interviews with people on the street. One famous bit has him approaching a man doing push-ups at Cannes, saying "You can stop now. She's left." Lafesse recently sued MySpace after several users posted copies of his films to the site, and on June 22, the President of the High Court of the First Instance issued a "summary order" that held the site liable for broadcasting the videos.

According to Brad Spitz, a French copyright lawyer and lecturer at the University of Paris whose recent blog post about the case was picked up by French tech law site Juriscom.net, France and other European Union countries have laws similar to the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Typically, these laws protect online hosting services from this sort of suit. But in this case, the court has ruled that MySpace is acting as a publisher because it requires users to post content via very specific online "structures," or frames, and that it serves up advertisements each time a video is viewed.

"Companies that host content usually aren't held liable [in France]," Spitz told The Register. "But this court has said that though MySpace does offer hosting services, it can also be considered a publisher because it does publicity, it offers these structures that users have to use, and it makes money from ads."

The court ruling is part of summary proceeding, a hearing that deals with "urgent matters," says Spitz. With such a proceeding, the president of the court hears arguments from both parties, but MySpace was a no-show. The company must appeal within 15 days of the ruling, according to Spitz.

There is a precedent for the case. In June of 2006, the Court of Appeal of Paris ruled that a hosting provider called Tiscali Media could be considered a publisher because it sold advertisements on user-generated web pages. As in The Buttock case, Tiscali was held liable for copyright infringement.

Spitz believes that Lafesse may have made it even more difficult for hosting providers to avoid this sort of suit. Meanwhile, Le Figaro reports that The Buttock plans to sue Google and video-sharing site Dailymotion as well.®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.