Popular video sharing site could face huge royalty bills

GEMA wins in court case against YouTube

German performing rights organisation GEMA has won in a rights battle over music clips being used in videos uploaded to YouTube.

A court in Hamburg ruled that the popular video sharing site is responsible for the content that its users post and filters need to be installed to spot the upload of unauthorised music clips whose rights are held by the royalty collection group GEMA.

If enforced, this ruling could dramatically slow down the rate at which videos are posted on YouTube. It is estimated that around 60 hours of video is currently uploaded to the site every single minute. YouTube could also face a hefty royalty bill for the music clips in question.

This is not the first attack against unruly uploading websites by GEMA, back in 2009 a judgment told Rapidshare to start filtering uploaded songs. Another case saw music streaming site Grooveshark pull out of Germany after seeing the licensing rates set by GEMA, the site claimed that the rates made it ‘impossible to run a profitable business’.

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