YouTube: ECJ to decide on YouTube liability for copyright infringement

YouTube: ECJ to decide on YouTube liability for copyright infringement

Stick platforms like YouTube for copyright infringement of their users? This question should be decided on Thursday by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). But the judges in Karlsruhe want to present the case first to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). This should have different questions
clarify the European law in advance.

Only then does the BGH want in
Karlsruhe make the decision whether the
Google subsidiary must pay YouTube damages if
Third works of artists protected on their platform
and thus violate their copyright.
Experience has shown that it takes one to two years before the
Legal dispute lies with the national courts again.

An argument that has been smoldering for years

The complaint was submitted by the Hamburg music producer Frank Peterson, because various works of his represented soprano Sarah Brightman landed on the video platform, without the copyrights had been purchased. Among other things, private concert recordings and songs from the albums were shown on the portal. YouTube argues that users are explicitly called to respect and obtain copyrights, and rejects any responsibility.

For years, the case goes through the instances: The Hamburg Regional Court ruled in 2010 in three cases in favor of Peterson, dismissed the action but otherwise. The Hamburg Higher Regional Court ruled that YouTube is not liable for violations of copyright, but as a "disturber", so as co-responsible. The company was sentenced to cease and desist. The Federal Court of Justice should clarify the fundamental question whether the platform is really responsible for the legal violations of its users as accomplices and what obligations and claims arise from this.

New copyright on the way

Because copyright in the EU is standardized, the BGH has now passed the decision to the ECJ continue. The verdict is made on the basis of the current law. It was not until Wednesday that the European Parliament approved a draft of a new copyright that would oblige platforms such as YouTube to review their users' content for copyright infringement. That should not matter though.

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