German High Court Postpones YouTube Illegal Uploads Ruling

German High Court Postpones YouTube Illegal Uploads Ruling

Despite having its own Content ID filter, YouTube suffers yet another legal setback in Europe.

For ten years now, German music producer Frank Peterson has quarreled with YouTube in court.

Users had illegally uploaded several titles from a singer he frequently works with — Sarah Brightman.  Peterson owns the copyrights to multiple songs from her catalog.

Unfortunately, the popular video platform didn’t adequately respond.  So, Peterson took YouTube to court.

According to Peterson, YouTube has monetized the infringing content and ignored takedown requests.  Thus, not only should the video platform pay damages, it should also reveal who uploaded Sarah Brightman’s works.

Three years ago, a court in Hamburg ruled YouTube must prevent all unauthorized distribution in the future.  The ruling, which found YouTube wasn’t liable for copyright infringement, spared the platform from having to pay damages.  So, despite having monetized the works, YouTube didn’t pay Peterson a single thing.  Nor did the video platform have to reveal who infringed on Peterson’s copyrights.

That may soon change, however, according to a new decision taken earlier today.

Should YouTube be held liable for infringement on its platform?

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH), Germany’s highest court, has postponed the final ruling, deciding whether the platform is ultimately liable for copyright violations on its platform over Peterson’s works.

According to the BGH, the court needs the opinion of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to make the decision.  Only the ECJ can properly interpret European copyright law, which remains the center of this case.