Google Wins Epic Victory Over France

A French court today rejected claims that YouTube violated a copyright of France’s largest television broadcaster, TF1, according to a Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) blog post.

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The case dates back to March 2008 when TF1 sued YouTube over copyright infringement by making available several of its TV programs on YouTube. TF1 was asking for more than 150 million euros in damages, according to Google, which owns YouTube.

Christophe Muller, Head of YouTube partnerships, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said today in a blog post, “The overall decision is a victor for everyone who uses the Web.”

“Every day, hundreds of millions of people use computers and mobile devices, tablets and televisions to freely exchange ideas and information,” wrote Muller. “After this decision, these creators can be secure to post their materials on YouTube and other platforms and we can host their content without fearing a giant liability. The end result will be more videos posted on the Net, more revenue generated for creative artists, and more exposure to a global audience for these artists.”

Muller added that YouTube already has deals in place with 3,000 media groups around the world, including important french partners like BFM, Arte, and AFP.

“The verdict demonstrates how the Internet is enriching French culture,” Muller went on to claim. “Over the past year, we have signed contracts with five French collecting societies to pay royalties to French writers, musicians, and other artists. More generally, we have a major investment plan for the French economy and culture, demonstrating how committed we are to France.”

Muller said he hopes the judgment will allow constructive partnerships with France and help bring more French language content to the Internet in what he called a “massive economic and cultural opportunity” for the country.

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