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Google whacks Spanish TV station in court

'Big win for the internet', or YouTube at least

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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. ®

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