Google wins key piracy case in Spain

Steve Dinneen
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GOOGLE yesterday won a landmark ruling when a Spanish judge threw out a claim it should be responsible for pirated content on its YouTube service.

Broadcaster Telecinco said it had suffered as a result of hit shows appearing on the video-sharing website before they are broadcast in Spain.

But a judge said the anti-piracy measures in place are sufficient and responsibility lies with the copyright holder to alert Google to breaches.

The win will come as a massive relief to Google, which would see YouTube grind to a halt if it was forced to monitor every piece of content uploaded.

Google claimed the ruling was a win for internet freedom. A Google spokesman said: “We are very pleased with today’s ruling. The win today confirms what we have said throughout this process: YouTube complies with the law.”

This is the second major victory for Google this year. In June a US judge threw out a $1bn (£670m) lawsuit accusing the company of turning a blind eye to illegal videos on YouTube.

Viacom claimed “tens of thousands of videos, resulting in hundreds of millions of views,” had been posted based on its copyrighted works.

It said Google ignored the infringements but US district judge Louis Stanton decided it would be unfair to hold the internet giant liable for simply having a “general awareness” that videos might be posted illegally.

Instead he said sites like YouTube should not be held accountable for monitoring content uploaded by third-party users, so long as it complied after a complaint was lodged.

Viacom says it plans to take the case to the US second circuit court of appeals, claiming Stanton’s ruling was “fundamentally flawed”.