German Court Limits YouTube's Use of Copyrighted Online Video Material
Google Inc.’s YouTube video service lost a Hamburg court ruling over copyrighted material that was posted online without permission for rebroadcast.
YouTube may be liable for damages involving video shown in violation of copyright law, the Hamburg Regional Court said today in an e-mailed statement.
The court in Hamburg last week declined to issue an emergency order forcing Google to block German access to some music videos on its YouTube website in a dispute over monitoring files on the Internet. Still, the judge in that case said he might ultimately rule in favor of a group of music-royalty collecting societies if they filed a new suit under standard court procedures.
Henning Dorstewitz, a spokesman for YouTube in Hamburg, said the company will appeal the ruling. He said that while today’s case and the one last week are different, they involve similar issues.
“We will definitely appeal the decision,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s the same court and at the core, they are similar cases, about the liability of YouTube.”
Conrad Mueller-Horn, a spokesman for the Hamburg court, couldn’t be reached to comment. The court said in the statement that the case applies to three recordings by singer Sarah Brightman.
“This decision results in a substantial legal uncertainty for all providers of video platforms, opinion forums, social communities, blogs and many other Internet services in Germany,” Arnd Haller, a Google lawyer in Germany, said in an e-mailed statement. “YouTube will appeal this decision and is confident that this verdict will not stand.”