Frankfurt, Germany (REUTERS) A German regional court has ruled that Google’s video-sharing website YouTube must prevent users from posting material that infringes copyright law once such a video has been brought to its attention.
In a case brought by German performing rights organization Gema, the regional court of Hamburg on Wednesday upheld the ruling of a lower court, rejecting appeals by both YouTube and Gema.
The court said services such as YouTube do not actively have to search for illegal activities on its platform by its users.
“However, if such a service provider has been made aware of a clear violation of the law, it must not only remove the content, but also must take precautions to avoid further infringements of copyrights,” the court said in its ruling.
A spokesman for Google in Germany said it would wait until the court’s detailed reasoning is published in two weeks’ time before deciding whether it will appeal the ruling.
He added that YouTube has the technology to add a digital fingerprint but it needs the rights holders’ help in connecting the technology to the protected works.
YouTube and Gema are fighting several legal battles.
Google won a legal victory on Tuesday over Gema, which had sought to make YouTube pay each time users watched music videos by artists it represents.