German Court: No Free Pass for YouTube
Landmark ruling holds it responsible for copyrighted videos
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2012 3:21 PM CDT
The YouTube home page.   (Getty Images/AFP)

(Newser) – Google is responsible for all the copyrighted content its users post on YouTube, a German court ruled today, in a landmark decision that could have massive implications for online content. The court ordered Google to remove all copyrighted clips brought to its attention, rejecting the web giant's argument that it merely provided the framework for users to post content, Reuters reports.

German royalty collector GEMA had sued YouTube over seven clips it said contained copyrighted music. The judge said that Google needn't proactively look for violators, but that when rights holders contacted them they had to remove clips. Google put a brave face on the ruling, saying it welcomed it, and was negotiating with GEMA to use copyrighted content. The decision comes just after an appeals court in the US reopened a copyright suit against YouTube brought by Viacom and others, notes the Guardian.