YouTube Win in Spain

September 28, 2010

An action by Telecinco against Google in a Madrid court has been rejected. The claim was that Google should be held responsible for copyrighted material posted to its YouTube video sharing website. Telecinco had claimed YouTube was damaging its business by airing TV shows before they had been broadcast in Spain, arguing that Google profits from the exploitation of IP rights.

The Spanish 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 site has tools allowing this to happen.

A Google spokesman said: ‘We are very pleased with today’s ruling. The win today confirms what we have said throughout this process: YouTube complies with the law. 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’.

Aaron Ferstman, Google’s head of communications for YouTube in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said ‘This decision demonstrates the wisdom of European laws. More than 24 hours of video are loaded on to YouTube every minute. If internet sites had to screen all videos, photos and text before allowing them on a website, many popular sites – not just YouTube, but Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and others – would grind to a halt. We have always been open to working co-operatively with rights holders and continue to grow our number of partnerships with content owners and hope to be able to work with Telecinco in the future in the spirit of copyright protection, content distribution and new opportunities.’

A translation of the full judgment is now available via (thanks to the IPKat blog for this link).