German court upholds YouTube’s safe harbor protections

German flag canvasA German court has ruled in support of the safe harbor rules that protect YouTube against legal infringements made by its members. The Higher Regional Court Munich has decided that copyright infringements are the responsibility of the people who upload the offending material, not with YouTube as the hosting platform.

Collecting agency GEMA voiced displeasure with the decision. “The decision is not justified from an economic perspective, as it continues to enable YouTube to generate high advertising revenues without passing them on to musical authors,” said Dr Tobias Holzmüller, GEMA’s general counsel.

GEMA has been pushing for YouTube to have more accountability in the licensing of music uploaded to its video network. It previoiusly filed a lawsuit resulting in a decision that once YouTube had been informed of an infringement, it would be liable for it. The group is likely to appeal the latest court ruling.

Anna Washenko