YouTube is facing a potentially huge bill for royalties after it lost a court battle in Germany over music videos, a court in Hamburg ruling that YouTube is responsible for the content that users post to the video sharing site.
It wants the video site to install filters that spot when users try to post music clips whose rights are held by the German royalty collection agency, Gema.
YouTube argued that it took no responsibility for what users did, but responded when told of copyright violations and, in many cases, taking down the offending videos.
YouTube stated that it is committed to finding a solution to the music licensing issue in Germany that will benefit artists, composers, authors, publishers and record labels, as well as the wider YouTube community.
Gema’s court case was based on 12 separate music clips posted to the website and the court ruling related to 7 of the those clips.
Enforcing the ruling could slow the rate at which video is posted to the site as any music clip would have to be cleared for copyright before being used. It is estimated that about 60 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube worldwide every minute.