French Court considers YouTube non liable for the content

By EDRi · June 6, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Frankreich: YouTube haftet nicht für Inhalte |]

On 29 May 2012, in a case brought to court by TF1 against Google for its
YouTube service, the High Court of Paris ruled that YouTube was just a
hosting service and therefore not bound to police the content posted on
it by its users.

TF1 sued Google in 2008 over a series of extracts from its programs
posted on YouTube by its users. The TV company claimed 141 million Euro
as damages for counterfeiting, unfair competition and parasitism.

“The defendant is not responsible in principle for the video content on
its site; only the users of the site are……. It has no obligation to
police the content before it is put online as long as it informs users
that posting television shows, music videos, concerts or advertisements
without prior consent of the owner is not allowed,” says the court’s

The court dismissed all TF1 claims and asked the TV channel to pay 80000
Euro for Google’s legal fees.

“We continue to oppose any demands to systematically filter or
pre-screen YouTube content and are confident that future court rulings
will uphold the need to allow innovative Web services to flourish,”
Christophe Mueller, head of partnerships for YouTube in Southern Europe,
Middle East and Africa, said in a statement.

This is good news for Google as the company was not as lucky in Germany
where in April 2012 the court took a totally opposite decision deciding
YouTube was responsible for the content its users published and should
take down copyrighted videos or pay royalties.

The French court decision can, however, still be appealed, as it was
given by a civil court of first instance in Paris.

YouTube wins against TF1 which was asking 141 million euro (updated)
(only in French, 29.05.2012)

The High Court of Paris ruling in TF1 case against YouTube (only in
French, 29.05.2012)

A Victory for the Web in France (29.05.2012)

French court backs Google in TV piracy case (29.05.2012)

EDRi-gram: YouTube loses a case in Germany to collective society Gema