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YouTube wins copyright-infringement case against top EU court

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Tuesday 22 Jun 2021

YouTube wins copyright-infringement case against top EU court

(Sharecast News) - YouTube won on Tuesday a copyright-infringement case in Europe's top court in but the latest development of an ongoing legal battle with Europe's creative industry.
Europe's top court claimed online platforms are not liable for users uploading unauthorised works unless the platforms failed to quickly remove or block access to the content.

The European creative industry, which has been in dispute with online platforms, seeks redress for unauthorised works that are uploaded by users.

"As currently stands, operators of online platforms do not, in principle, themselves make a communication to the public of copyright-protected content illegally posted online by users of those platforms," the EU Court of Justice said according to Reuters.

"However, those operators do make such a communication in breach of copyright where they contribute, beyond merely making those platforms available, to giving access to such content to the public," judges said.

In response to the court ruling, a YouTube spokesperson said: "YouTube is a leader in copyright and supports rights holders being paid their fair share."

"That's why we've invested in state of the art copyright tools which have created an entirely new revenue stream for the industry. In the past 12 months alone we have paid $4bn to the music industry, over 30% of which comes from monetised user generated content."

YouTube was sued by music producer Frank Peterson and by publishing group Elsevier in 2008 and 2013, respectively, for allowing content they owned to be uploaded on its platform.

On Tuesday, the EU Court of Justice ruled in favour of YouTube in both cases.

The EU overhauled its copyright rules for the first time in two decades in 2020, in favour of regulating unauthorised content on digital spaces, but the move drew criticism from civil rights groups concerned over potential censorship and risks to freedom of expression.

Several EU countries have yet to transpose the EU law into national legislation, due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic.


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