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Court Decisions Could Clip YouTube's Wings

Court Decisions Could Clip YouTube’s Wings

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(CelebrityAccess) Decisions are being handed down on both sides of the ocean that could severely affect the way YouTube operates.

In Vienna, a preliminary decision has been handed down that says YouTube is responsible for the content uploaded by users and must prevent third parties from uploading copyright infringing content. Meanwhile, in Karlsruhe, the German Federal Court of Justice says it will decide if YouTube is directly liable for copyright infringement. That case was filed by Hamburg music producer Frank Peterson who produced an album by soprano Sarah Brightman and thinks videos from it were loaded illegally to YouTube.

Finally, a legal battle between a mom and Universal Music that has waged for 11 years regarding a Prince song is being settled, which also affects YouTube and copyright infringement.

The Vienna Commercial Court determined that YouTube is responsible for users’ videos that violate copyright infringement, according to Hollywood Reporter. The case was brought by Austrian commercial TV channel Puls4 in 2014, claiming that copyright-protected material from its channels was uploaded to the video service. YouTube has always maintained it is a neutral technical platform that isn’t legally responsible for content uploaded by third parties. The court’s decision is not legally binding but, if held up in court, could have significant repercussions.

YouTube said it was looking into all options including appealing the decision.

Meanwhile, Peterson vs. YouTube has waged on for about a decade, according to Silicon Republic. A lower court in Hamburg previously ruled that YouTube needed to remove 36 video clips that Peterson claims he owns rights to. If the court rules against YouTube tit would be a “landmark decision” that could “affect the digital content landscape in a massive way,” according to the media outlet.

As for UMG, it is settling a case prior to trial with Stephanie Lenz, who uploaded a video in 2007 of her toddler son dancing to “Let’s Go Crazy.” Universal claimed copyright violation and registered a takedown notice with YouTube. Prince himself expressed disdain at the video. Lenz, aided by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, filed a lawsuit in 2017 alleging Universal had violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by knowingly misrepresenting its copyright claim.

The two parties told a magistrate judge today that they had reached a settlement in principle, according to THR, which called this legal battle, too, a “landmark case,” which had wended through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a request by the Supreme Court to have the solicitor general weigh in (and ultimately denied review) and, in 2014, was reviewed by a panel of judges that ruled that copyright owners must consider fair use when issuing takedown notices, according to THR.

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