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YouTube Wins vs. Telecinco In Spain 68

eldavojohn writes "A Spanish judge has dismissed a case brought against YouTube by Spanish television station Telecinco for violating Telecinco's intellectual property. The ruling reads in part: 'YouTube is not a supplier of content and therefore has no obligation to control ex-ante the illegality of those. Its only obligation is to cooperate with the holders of the rights in order to immediately withdraw the content once the infraction is identified.' Telecinco brought the case against YouTube when it found that episodes of its television programs were turning up on YouTube prior to their official air and release date on their television channel. Things are looking up for Google's video service as YouTube was granted safe harbor from Viacom earlier this year in the United States. You can find an official response from Google on their EU Policy Blog."
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YouTube Wins vs. Telecinco In Spain

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  • weird (Score:4, Insightful)

    by someone1234 ( 830754 ) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @10:15AM (#33675114)

    Did the spanish try to send a takedown to Google, or they just run to the Court?
    One would think, sending an email is cheaper, faster and generally more effective.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      Takedown notices only apply in the US; the DMCA is meaningless anywhere else.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by ntdesign ( 1229504 )

        Takedown notices only apply in the US

        And YouTube complies with US law. In fact, they make it very easy to send a takedown request: http://www.youtube.com/copyright_complaint_form [youtube.com]

        • What he means is that you can't file DMCA takedown notices and expect a foreign court to enforce them. I take it that in this case that it was a Spain specific take down notice.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by xtracto ( 837672 )

        You are wrong, there *are* takedown notices in Spain as well:

        La Comisión de la Propiedad Intelectual, órgano creado por el Ministerio de Cultura, se dirigirá al responsable de la página web que considera que ha vulnerado los derechos de Propiedad Intelectual y le pedirá la retirada del contenido conflictivo. Si éste no es retirado después de que la comisión lo haya solicitado hasta en dos ocasiones, el denunciado podrá presentarle sus alegaciones

        (too lazy to translate but Google is your friend)

        However, it seems in Spain there is a special comission who is the one in charge of issuing the notices, thus you cannot send everyone you like such kind of notices (well, you can, but they wont care).

        At least that is what I read from there, maybe a Spanish guy can shed more light?

      • the DMCA is meaningless anywhere else.

        Except those countries like Spain which have implemented into law the EU Copyright Directive which is the EU's version of the DMCA.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Google could ignore any takedown request citing technicalities, but it wouldn't be good for business. Generally if a copyright holder asks, Google should err on the side of caution and take down the video if the copyright ownership can be verified. The alternative would be riskier. After all many television stations in other countries have ties to the government thus entangling Google in a state matter.
        • Telecinco is owned by Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset. Has far as I know, there's no direct connection to the Spanish government.

    • Well, actually first they tried sending the Spanish Inquisition, for surely nobody would expect that!
      However, the inquisition got bogged down in a dialogue about their diverse weaponry and fancy red uniforms... so Telecinco decided to take it to the courts instead.

    • Re:weird (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @11:06AM (#33675774) Journal

      Doing nothing at all is cheaper, faster and.. well, not more effective, but it's not particularly all that much -less- effective.

      Here's the rub.. if your content is popular - and I'm guessing it is - then it will end up on YouTube. So what do you do..
      A. Pay a staffer to monitor YouTube continually and a legal department (or lawyer) to draft legal complaints (DMCA takedown notice if applicable), send this to Google, wait for reply and video takedown, then wait some more to see if the person who uploaded is feeling fresh and decides to tell Google that they think the upload was fair use or somesuch, and you get to write some more legal documents, or they just bow their heads and admit that it was infringement at no cost to them beyond reading the youtube e-mail subject (don't even bother with the body content). In the mean time, start your work with the legal peeps to deal with the other 2 videos of the exact same show, uploaded while you were dealing with the aforementioned. After all.. Google isn't obligated to remove -all- the videos.. just the one you complained about.. and you can only complain about one.

      B. Try to sue Google to get them to implement better filtering methods, fingerprinting, removal of -all- the videos that match ones you've already complained about, etc. and spend a whack of cash... that you would've been spending under A anyway.. but of course go nowhere because the courts do firmly side with Google on this.

      C. do nothing.

      of course there's also...

      D. upload the videos yourself, be the official channel for that show, and people will have less of a reason to visit JoePirate's version of the video with crappy compression and "A JOOOOOEEEEEEEEE PIIIRAAAAAATE production!!!!" leader in front of it with its feeble "I'm not the copyright holder - I do not mean to infringe on any copyright!" description that would make me wonder about the uploader's frame of mind if not for the fact that this is, after all, YouTube.

      To some, though, option B may seem more attractive.. perhaps it'll fly in some jurisdiction eventually.. but option A is certainly completely pointless. Option C is the only worthwhile approach if you abhor option D for some reason.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      The ruling reads in part: 'YouTube is not a supplier of content and therefore has no obligation to control ex-ante the illegality of those. Its only obligation is to cooperate with the holders of the rights in order to immediately withdraw the content once the infraction is identified.'

      I would guess from this that it was not enough that Google followed their takedowns, they wanted Google to do all the work for them too.

  • Great! I only hope the rest of the court systems in the world will maintain some semblance to sanity. [Come on, I can't be the First Post.... ]
  • by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @10:49AM (#33675590) Journal

    So IIRC sites like Suprnova and other torrent *indexing* sites which are often attacked by the MAFIIAA should be safe in Spain after this judgement no?

    I mean, Torrent sites are not even hosting a copy of the material (as Youtube does)!

    Unfortunately this is a typical example of how justice only applies to big corporations while the small guy is always screwed. (well... I think in Spain are a better but still...)

    • Exactly my thoughts, that would mean that no one can sue Torrent-Sites in Spain.
      • by Jahava ( 946858 )

        Exactly my thoughts, that would mean that no one can sue Torrent-Sites in Spain.

        Do precedents work like that in Spanish court?

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Not completely. Only rulings by the "Superiour Spanish Court" (Tribunal Superior de Justicia) can be used as a precedent under the spanish law. Nevertheless, there have been *many* lawsuits against indexing sites (emule, torrent, megavideo, etc.) and *none* of them have been ruled out against the websites. Despite that, some of them settled by agreement where the website owner accepted a symbolic fine in exchange for preventing any further legal actions (and their associated lawsuit costs).

      • I'd say that's true, as long as the torrent site has a solid track record of responding appropriately to takedown requests. I'm sure that, given their long history of immediate and dutiful responses to valid takedown requests submitted by the copyright holder, The Pirate Bay could safely move to Spain and... ah, screw it, I can't even TYPE that with a straight face.

    • by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @11:28AM (#33676052)
      The problem is, many torrent sites do not readily comply with takedown requests. Many even advertise their illegal material. YouTube will take something down on request, which is the main crux of a "safe harbor" argument.
  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @10:50AM (#33675602)

    i don't have anything against copyrights but most of the pirated content is put on the internet by insiders. i know someone that gives me movies a few weeks prior to DVD release that are from the original masters. he used to get movies a few days after theater release that were originals as well. music albums pop up on bit torrent weeks prior to street date. same thing in this case, it's not like kiddie ninja's snuck in and stole the episodes. someone who works for telecino put them up on youtube.

    i'm waiting for a case where discovery uncovers emails that the media companies did this as PR and publicity for some new release. it would probably kill most of the lawsuits

    • Exactly. The ONLY way something can appear on torrent before the official release is if an insider sneaks a copy out of the door.

      We have things to prevent this, they're called 'safes'.

    • I'm pretty sure that was what was happening in the Viacom case, except the insiders were doing it intentionally to sue google.

  • ...the Spanish Inquisition!

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Thursday September 23, 2010 @11:34AM (#33676124)

    Today's paper had a similar Op-Ed [vancouversun.com] piece about needing better copyright enforcement.

    The complaint is the same - people who leak unaired episodes onto the 'net, and thus they need stronger laws to protect that.

    What I don't get is why don't they try to find the origin of the leak? If it costs as much as they claim, surely the one leaking it onto the 'net in the first place would be the best place to go, than the thousands of others to play whack-a-mole with.

    A simple case of "clean your own house before shitting in everyone else's" or some such. It's just like camcording a movie - no one likes watching camcorded crap, especially since a leaked DVD screener offers far better quality and presentation.

    Perhaps these production companies would rather sue everyone the horse visited after it left the barn, than to actually close the barn door. Fix the leaks first that's letting everyone download unreleased episodes prior to airing first, rather than trying to go after everyone who's spreading the leaked episodes. It's easier that way because no law can prevent it from spreading.

    • You clearly have not thought this clever plan through.

      Step 1) Have employee put unaired episodes of your own show on youtube with an anonymous account
      Step 2) Pay newspapers to write articles about this instead of having takedown notices filed.
      Step 3) Spin the articles into support for a new law that makes every media company that is not part of your cartel illegal
      Step 4) Enjoy your monopoly
      Step 5) ????
      Step 6) Profit

    • It is likely that the leak originates from an employee that works for the company in question. Now, how does the company prevent leaks from happening in the future?

      1. Surveillance systems.
      2. More surveillance systems.
      3. Even more surveillance systems.

      But leaks still occur, what to do?

      1. More surveillance!

      Do you honestly think it is beneficial for anyone for companies to treat their employees as criminals?

  • what people at Telecinco thinks about that [telecinco.es] (disclaimer: it's in spanish). It seems like they were listening to a completely different case.
  • Obviously if you are going to the legal expense of suing someone it is a really good idea to sue the people against whom you have a ligitimate case. How did Telecinco figure that Google/YouTube were the people to sue? Is this the fault of their lawyers or of Telecinco themselves?

The absent ones are always at fault.