The Hamburg state court in Germany has ruled that YouTube must filter uploaded videos to check for copyrighted material, reports the Associated Foreign Press. GEMA, which represents around 60,000 German musicians and writers, took YouTube to court over 12 music videos that were allegedly illegally uploaded to the site. The two organizations had attempted to negotiate a licensing contract since April 2009, but talks were called off in May 2010, which led to legal action being delivered to YouTube in April last year.

The court decided that YouTube has to remove seven of the 12 videos that were contested, and in the future would have to install a filter to prevent copyrighted material from being uploaded. If YouTube doesn't comply with the decision it could face a fine of up to €250,000 (around $330,000) per case, or up to a six month imprisonment. YouTube has always maintained that it bears no responsibility for the content on its site, and complies with valid takedown notices from copyright holders. It already has a filtering system named Content ID, which allows copyright holders to block or monetize uploaded videos. Google, YouTube's parent company, is preparing a response to the ruling.