12 August 2016Copyright

German court backs GEMA in copyright dispute

Germany-based collecting society and performing rights organisation GEMA has won a copyright dispute against online file hosting service

In a judgment handed down on Wednesday, August 10, the Munich District Court said Uploaded is liable for content shared by its users and has failed to implement anti-piracy measures.

GEMA has around 70,000 members including composers, lyricists and music publishers and is one of the largest societies for authors of musical works.

The organisation argued that Uploaded had infringed its owners’ copyright and that files were not removed to a “sufficient” degree.

Uploaded provides customers with a space for uploading files. It also generates links to the files which are then used as publicly accessible collections.

The court ruled that Uploaded is a service provider which forms “a specific source of danger for copyright infringement”.

Following the judgment, Uploaded must remove all infringing content when it is reported and must also take additional measures including preventing the same infringing files from being uploaded to its website again.

It will also be liable for damages, the amount of which will be determined at a later date.

Harald Heker, CEO of GEMA, said Uploaded “earns a lot of money” from the exploitation of creative content.

“Copyright infringements are thereby consciously accepted. This imbalance to the detriment of our members we cannot accept,” he said.

Heker added: “We therefore call for a regulatory framework in which the platform operators be held accountable. The decision is a clear signal to the creative professionals.”

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