Decision by the Regional Court of Hamburg: YouTube is responsible for contents posted online by its users

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The Regional Court of Hamburg announced today its decision in the case GEMA vs. YouTube. In the opinion of the court, YouTube is legally responsible for the contents of videos its users publish. This means YouTube has to initiate appropriate measures to also make copyright protected works unavailable in the future.

The legal proceedings were to determine the fundamental responsibility of YouTube for the contents users publish on its Website. The subject of the proceedings is twelve exemplary works in the repertoire of GEMA. GEMA’s intention is to stop YouTube in general from using these works on their video platform in Germany. The background of the proceedings is that although YouTube refuses to accept any legal responsibility for the contents offered by its service, at the same time it realizes a considerable financial profit through the marketing of the user generated contents.

YouTube cannot simply refer the rights holders in particular to the content verification program set up by YouTube, but rather it must also install digital fingerprints on the music works it offers. In addition, in the future YouTube must implement keyword filters. In conclusion, this means that the rights holders’ legal position must be effectively and sustainably protected. Here to read more.

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