Mediaset to sue YouTube

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

The president of Mediaset has confirmed that Italy's leading private broadcaster is ”obliged” to sue video-sharing site YouTube and its owner Google for copyright infringement.

”If an administrator believes his company has suffered damages he must take legal action because one day any shareholder could ask why no claim for damages was made,” said Fedele Confalonieri, adding that the action was justified by both civil law and laws regarding intellectual property.

Mediaset announced in July it was suing YouTube/Google for E500 million for the unauthorized posting of 4,643 clips which it said was equal to 325 hours of copyrighted material, costing the broadcaster 315,672 viewing days. The E500 million does not include the group’s losses from lost advertising revenues. At the time YouTube/Google issued a statement saying that it ”respects copyright holders and takes copyright very seriously. There is no reason for legal action and all the associated costs”.

Last month, Mediaset said it was ready to negotiate an agreement with YouTube to resolve their dispute and that the figure requested was designed to make a point on copyright laws and video sharing. Google/YouTube is also being sued by Mediaset’s Spanish subsidiary Telecinco.

In a related development, Italian state broadcaster RAI this week signed an accord to make some of its substantial video archive available on YouTube.

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