According to a court in Hamburg, Germany, YouTube needs to take responsibility for its content. A German royalty collection group named Gema filed a lawsuit against the Google-owned video sharing site. Gema claimed that the website must take action to block the sharing of copyrighted videos. The court ruled in Gema's favor on seven copyrighted videos from various musical artists. It remains to be seen whether Gema will collect lost royalties as a result of the court ruling.
Despite its loss in court, the popular video site released the following statement through a spokesperson, "Today's ruling confirms that YouTube as a hosting platform cannot be obliged to control the content of all videos uploaded to the site." This statement seems misplaced considering the court actually ruled against them, not for them. It's just another sign of their refusal to admit responsibility for the actions of its users. It's about time that they began the laborious task of ridding the site of its vast library of copyright violations. Unfortunately, that task seems nearly impossible, and it would ultimately make the site less profitable and less interesting.
YouTube could ultimately have to pay for all the copyrighted clips its users have posted on the website. That would be financially devastating for parent company Google. The ruling could also force them to clear each music clip for copyright before adding it to the site. That would dramatically slow down the rapid rate at which videos are now added to the site. If Gema and an obscure German court have their way, the Internet is about to become a lot less exciting.