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Friday, 24 September 2010 09:14

Spanish judge backs Google

Written by Nick Farell


Tells content industry to sling its hook
A Spanish judge has told the entertainment business to leave YouTube alone.

Lately the site has been hit with all sorts of law suits from various big content types who want to call it a pirate. The Entertainment industry lead by the Milan Cathedral magnet  Silvio Berlusconi  have been claiming that YouTube must screen every video before it goes live to make sure that it does not break any copyright claims.

However, according to the New York Times a Spanish court has told the broadcaster Telecinco, to sling its hook. The decision by the  commercial court in Madrid is identical to one in the United States in June, when a judge told Viacom to shove off. The judge in Madrid said YouTube was not liable as long as it removed copyrighted material when notified. Commenting on the case, Google has said that it has always operated within the law. It is probably wishing that the Germans had the same attitude.  This month, in a case involving videos of the singer Sarah Brightman, a German court said YouTube must pay compensation to musical rights holders when their work is uploaded without their permission.

However the Germans are not big fans of Google at the moment after the Street View fiasco where it was revealed that the search giant was snooping on punters. Google also faces copyright claims in other YouTube-related cases in Italy, France, Belgium and other European countries. The one in Italy will be tricky because You Tube is taking on Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi  telly empire directly. In the Spanish case Google was taking on a subsidiary of Mediaset which the Berlusconi, owns. It has said it will appeal against the Spanish case.

Nick Farell

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