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CJEU called on by German Federal Court for YouTube clarity

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 17 September 2018

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The Court of Justice for the European Union is there as a reference point for the member states national courts to consider points they need clarification on.

The CJEU’s latest request has come from the German Federal Court of Justice.

The German Court has asked the CJEU if YouTube is liable for IP violations that occur on their site.

This has stemmed from a German case in which Frank Peterson, a music producer, has accused YouTube of copyright infringement.

He claims that illegal copies of songs he owns the copyright in, originally sung by British singer Sarah Brightman, have been uploaded to YouTube and the site should compensate him for this infringement.

There has been back and forth on YouTube’s liability as the case have gone through the different stages of the German Court system.

After further appeal, the German Federal Court of Justice refused to rule on the matter, referring it instead to the CJEU.

The referral revolves around the concept of ‘communicating a copyright protected work to the public’ and whether YouTube should be held liable for that.

The outcome of this case is certain to have EU wide impact therefore it is certainly one to watch.

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