Saturday, April 21, 2012

German court might just make YouTube, internet unworkable

GEMA, the German rights organisation, has won a significant victory in a case against Google.

In short, the German courts have decided that YouTube is responsible for the content posted on its site, not the individual posting videos, and as such should be paying royalties for any music that winds up there.

BBC News explains what the ruling means:

If enforced, the ruling could also slow the rate at which video is posted to the site as any music clip would have to be cleared for copyright before being used.
With sixty hours of new video hitting the servers every sixty seconds, the "slow the rate" here would mean, in effect, stop video being pushed to YouTube.

It's a silly move for GEMA to seek this sort of judgement, as it won't stop the content being posted online - their pyrrhic victory over Rapidshare shows how all they do is scatter the content - and backs into a corner an organisation which is sort-of-trying to do the right thing.

The obvious move would be for YouTube to just bow out of Germany. And who, exactly, would be better off as a result of that?

I'll bet Pinterest were watching this judgement with, erm, interest.

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