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[Updated] As had long been suspected: The proposed Press Publishers Right is meant as a lex Google after all (Germany)

“Some said this would be like an Opera House charging the taxi drivers for taking the audience to the venue.”

It has been more than three years now since the infamous idea of a new neighbouring right for press publishers appeared in the coalition agreement of the second Merkel government out of thin air. On the face of it, the approach seemed somewhat reasonable: To give press publishers a neighbouring right just like the ones enjoyed by other key players of content production, f.e. film and phonogram producers.

First ideas for an implementation circled around a kind of online press levy, to be payed by any commercial or public entity. There were reports about the respective collecting socie [...]

GEMA/YouTube: only secondary liability for infringing uploads

German Court of First instance rules that YouTube is only liable for secondary liability for user’s infringing uploads, but must prevent future infringements of identified works by screening of and implementing a word filter for new uploads.

In this test run case the German composers and lyricists collecting society GEMA claimed that 12 songs of its repertoire were made accessible via YouTube without permission and that YouTube LLC was primarily liable for copyright infringement. YouTube’s reaction to this had been to cancel any further negotiations with GEMA about payments for GEMA repertoire content being uploaded to YouTube. Also, YouTube had pre-emptively blocked numerous videos that pot [...]

Vorschaubilder II. The second case on image search thumbnails

The German Federal Court of Justice rejects liability for image search thumbnails even if they are indexed on websites showing the images without permission as long as other websites did so with the rights holder’s consent.

The first landmark case involving thumbnail previews of Google’s image search function in Germany (Vorschaubilder I, 2010) had dealt with indexation of images put online by the rights holder herself with no robots.txt file telling search bots not to index these images. Criticised by many, the Federal Court of Justice in that first case in effect established an opt-out rule where the rights holder has to actively indicate not to allow indexing in order to get injunctive re [...]

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