YouTube must take responsibility in Germany for ensuring its users do not upload copyrighted material that has already been flagged as infringing by rightsholders. That’s the upshot of a ruling by the Hamburg State Court in a case brought by German collecting society GEMA. Both sides are claiming it as a victory, of sorts – YouTube notes that it’s not liable for the initial infringement, but GEMA is pleased that Google’s video site must use its monitoring technology to pro-actively filter out repeated uploads of the same song. “YouTube has to take reasonable measures to protect our repertoire, and this obligation cannot be simply passed on to the rights owner,” says GEMA boss Harald Heker. YouTube is expected to appeal the ruling which – probably the most important thing here – means no end yet in sight to its stand-off with GEMA, and thus no YouTube licensing deal in Germany for the forseeable future.

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