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YouTube loses German trial over music copyrights

updated 12:50 pm EDT, Fri April 20, 2012

YouTube faces large royalty bill in Germany

YouTube has lost a court battle in Germany over copyrighted music posted in video clips, in a decision that may result in a sizable royalty bill. German royalty collection group GEMA convinced a court that YouTube has failed to protect copyrighted music sufficiently, requesting content filtering at the time of video upload.

Currently, YouTube takes a reactive approach to copyright infringement, taking action once a violation is flagged and not holding itself responsible for the content provided by users. A more active method advocated by GEMA would lead to videos being checked for copyright violations before the video gets posted for public viewing, leading to slower video processing times.

The case started in 2010 following a royalties argument between YouTube and GEMA, at one point leading to uploaded videos from record labels in Germany being blocked. In January, music streaming service Grooveshark was forced to pull out of Germany citing "unreasonably high" operating costs stemming from GEMA royalties.

A separate class-action suit filed in the US by the National Music Publishers Association and a number of music publishers was settled last summer. The Google subsidiary agreed to a licensing arrangement that would allow certain copyrighted content to be posted to YouTube, as long as the publishers received royalty payouts.

Google bought RightsFlow late last year in an attempt to accelerate its music efforts. [via BBC News]

by MacNN Staff





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