Innovation Asset Blog

German copyright case sets important digital piracy precedent

Digital content producers may have secured an important victory following a German court ruling that has instructed Google to install a series of filters that will detect and prevent playback of copyright-infringing materials on its popular video-streaming platform, YouTube.

Despite its mainstream exposure, YouTube has often been a haven for digital pirates hoping to share copyrighted materials, including popular songs and movie clips. Although the court conceded that YouTube is not exclusively responsible for the submissions of its users, the ruling could set an important legal precedent by which intellectual property protection advocates could call on separate online media platforms to govern their content more proactively.

"Today's ruling confirms that YouTube is a hosting platform and cannot be obliged to control all videos uploaded to the site," Google officials stated. "The ruling is a partial success for the music industry in general, for our users as well as artists, composers, YouTube and other web platforms in Germany."

According to ZDNet, it is unlikely any retroactive royalties will be sought, but Google could be asked to pay for the rights to any copyrighted materials that it would like to remain on YouTube moving forward.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.