Google has won a landmark ruling in Spain successfully defending broadcaster Telecinco’s claim that it should compensate for copyrighted material posted to the YouTube video sharing website.
The Madrid court threw out Telecinco’s claim, filed in June 2008, and ordered the broadcaster to pay Google’s court costs. Telecinco claimed YouTube was damaging its business by playing out TV shows before they had been broadcast in Spain, arguing that Google “profits from the exploitation of intellectual property rights”.
The Court said it was the responsibility of the copyright owner to identify and tell Google when material that infringes intellectual property is on YouTube, noting that the video portal has tools allowing this to happen.
Google said: “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.”
US producer Viacom is suing Google in the US in similar case first filed in 2007.