European court rules in favour of YouTube in copyright cases

European court rules in favour of YouTube in copyright cases

The European Court of Justice has ruled in favour of YouTube in two cases concerning copyright infringement. The cases are of importance as many discussions focus on what responsibility the platforms have. The specific cases concern not authorized uploading of music on YouTube. A German court had sought advice from the EU Court of Justice.

The Court finds that the operator of a video-sharing platform does not make a ‘communication to the public’ of content as long as it just makes the platform available. A condition is that the platforms deletes or blocks unauthorized uploaded content as soon as informed about a violation of copyright.

Platforms can also be liable if they do not have appropriate technological tools to deal with copyright breaches by their users or if they provide tools on their platforms for illegal sharing of content.

As the German court had sought advice, the European Court of Justice says it does not decide the dispute itself. It is for the national court or tribunal to dispose of the case in accordance with the Court’s decision, which is similarly binding on other national courts or tribunals before which a similar issue is raised.

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