After Europe’s highest court ruled that internet platforms are not responsible for users uploading unlawful works unless the platforms failed to take prompt steps to delete or prevent access to the content, Google’s YouTube won its latest copyright-infringement case.
The lawsuit is the latest twist in a long-running dispute between Europe’s $1 trillion (approximately Rs. 74.35.090.43 crores) creative sector and internet platforms, with the former demanding restitution for illegally posted works.
It’s also part of a larger discussion over how much internet platforms and social media should do to control the distribution of unlicensed, illegal, or offensive information, a problem that European Union authorities are addressing with severe new laws that may take effect next year.
Those operators, on the other hand, create such a communication in violation of copyright when they contribute to allowing the public access to such content beyond just making those platforms available.
Platforms may also be held responsible, according to the EU court, if they do not implement suitable technical measures to combat copyright violations by their users or if they provide facilities on their platforms for illicit material distribution.
“YouTube is a leader in copyright and supports rights holders getting paid their fair share,” a YouTube spokeswoman said in reaction to the court judgement.”
“That’s why we’ve invested in cutting-edge copyright technologies, which have given the industry a whole new cash stream. We’ve paid the music industry $4 billion (approximately Rs. 29737.31 crores) in the last year alone, with over 30% of it coming from monetised user created content.”
Frank Peterson, a music producer, sued YouTube and Google in Germany in 2008 for the uploading to YouTube by users of numerous phonograms to which he owns the rights.
In a second case, publishing company Elsevier filed a lawsuit in Germany against file-hosting provider Cyando after its customers illegally posted numerous Elsevier works on its platform Uploaded in 2013.
Following that, a German court sought help from the European Court of Justice, which issued rulings in both instances on Tuesday.
Existing EU regulations protect YouTube and its competitors from copyright liability if they are notified of infringement and remove them.
For the first time in two decades, the EU revised its copyright regulations this year to aid its creative industries, adopting a critical provision known as Article 17. This necessitates the installation of filters on YouTube, Facebook’s Instagram, and other sharing platforms to prevent people from submitting unauthorised information.
However, civil rights organisations have expressed concern about possible censorship by authoritarian governments and threats to freedom of speech as a result of this.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, some EU nations have failed to translate EU law into national legislation.
The European Commission has also suggested a far broader Digital Services Act, which would impose strict duties on extremely big internet firms, online platforms, and hosting services, with fines of up to 6% of a company’s turnover if they fail to comply.
Websites, internet infrastructure services, and online platforms such as online marketplaces, social networks, content-sharing platforms, app stores, and online travel and lodging platforms would all fall under this category.
Before becoming legislation, the proposed regulations must be worked out with EU nations and legislators, which is expected to happen next year.