Google wins Youtube copyright court case in Spain

Google has won a landmark legal case in Spain where the courts ruled that it is not responsible for copyrighted material posted by users on YouTube.

Spanish television broadcaster Telecinco brought Google to court, claiming that it should be liable when YouTube users infringe upon copyright by uploading Telecinco’s TV programmes.

The court decided in Google’s favour, saying that YouTube provides tools for copyright owners to remove or have removed any infringing material. In the case of Telecinco’s broadcasts, it would be Telecinco’s responsibility to have the items removed, not Google’s, since the upload system is almost entirely user-based.

Aaron Ferstman, Head of Communications for YouTube in EMEA, said that most websites would grind to a halt if a screening feature of all YouTube videos was put into place considering that 24 hours of video is uploaded to the site every minute.

Removing infringing material is simply a more feasible and reasonable approach than attempting to prevent uploads in the first place.

“The ruling recognises that YouTube is merely an intermediary content-hosting service and therefore cannot be obliged to pre-screen videos before they are uploaded,” said a Google spokesperson.

A similar case was taken against Google in the US in June of this year, when Viacom, owner of MTV, wanted damages paid for its content being illegally uploaded onto YouTube. That case was also dismissed.

Not only has Telecinco lost this case and not forced ‘Ogle into submission, it now has to pay all legal fees for the entire shebang.