Google whacks Spanish TV station in court
'Big win for the internet', or YouTube at least
A Madrid court has thrown out copyright infringement charges brought against YouTube by Spanish TV station Telecinco.
The station, owned by Silvio Berlusconi, won a previous case against Google's video service in 2008.
The court today dismissed charges and found it the responsibility of copyright owners to guard their own intellectual property and inform Google when it is infringing copyright.
The judgement, translated by AFP, said it was "impossible to control all the videos that are made available to users, as there are in fact more than 500 million. YouTube is not a supplier of content and therefore has no obligation to control ex-ante the illegality of those."
YouTube's chief European spin doctor said in a blog post that it was "a big win for the internet".
He said the court noted "that YouTube offers content owners tools to remove copyright infringing content and this means that it is the responsibility of the copyright owner – not YouTube – to identify and tell YouTube when infringing content is on its website. This decision reaffirms European law which recognizes that content owners (not service providers like YouTube) are in the best position to know whether a specific work is authorised to be on an Internet hosting service..."
Google is still fighting a defamation case in Italy over the posting of a video of a disabled child being bullied.
German courts have also been less sympathetic over Google's apparent helplessness to police copyright on YouTube. ®
Quite honestly - so effin' what? Holding a copyright comes with responsibilities as well as rights. You have to police your own copyrights, and if that's too difficult and/or expensive, then maybe it's not worth keeping the copyright. Or at least not keeping it for the whole eternity-plus-a-billion-years that copyrights last these days.
It's a bit more complicated than that.
There IS the practical problem of looking through 500 million videos, but that is not the most important part.
If they could, how do they determine if the poster of the video had permission or not?
Just because something "professional looking" is there doesn't mean that it is there illegally.
This is especially relevant with the increase in "viral marketing" being used by marketing companies more and more. Was that "cute" commercial video posted by a savvy marketing department or ripped from the TV illegally by someone who just liked it?
Ultimately, only the copyright holder knows the answer.
Poor old Berlio, another 'bad hair' / toupe day for him
Not only is he a failing star in bed, and his wife has left him, but now in the world of business he is failing.
Of course had this been Italy Berlio would have simply passed a law.