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French court dismisses TV network's copyright claim against YouTube

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A French court has dismissed claims that YouTube is legally responsible for users uploading content belonging to network TF1, ordering TF1 to pay 80,000 euros towards Google's court costs.


Google's social services have found a mixed reception in Europe, but a French court has dismissed claims that video site YouTube violated a TV network's copyright. French broadcaster TF1 sued YouTube for 141 million euros in damages four years ago, claiming Google was responsible for copyrighted programs that ended up on its site. The court, however, determined that as long as Google took steps to remove copyrighted content once it had been notified, it wasn't liable if individual users posted infringing material. It also required TF1 to pay 80,000 euros to cover Google's court costs.

In a blog post, Google lauded the decision, saying it would free people to use YouTube without fear of liability and "demonstrates how the Internet is enriching French culture." TF1 filed a similar suit against French site Dailymotion around the time of its YouTube complaint, but a court found in 2011 that since Dailymotion served only as a "platform" for content, it was also not responsible for what users had uploaded. Outside of France, however, YouTube has been less fortunate. Despite signing an agreement to offer Paramount films for rental, for instance, Google is still embroiled in a piracy lawsuit with parent company Viacom.