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Italy's Mediaset sues YouTube for $779 million

updated 05:05 pm EDT, Wed July 30, 2008

Mediaset sues YouTube

Italian broadcaster Mediaset on Wednesday announced it is seeking at least 500 million euros ($779 million) in damages from Google-owned YouTube, according to a report in Variety. The lawsuit, filed in a Rome court, accuses YouTube of "illegal distribution and commercial use of audio and video files." Mediaset alleges that an audit it performed on June 10 came up with 4,643 clips amounting to 325 hours of copyrighted Mediaset content.

In addition to the 500 million euros, Mediaset is seeking compensation for lost ad revenue, claiming its three TV channels lost 315,672 viewing days as a result of YouTube's actions.

YouTube is also involved in a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit from Viacom, the company that owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, since March of last year. The video-hosting site has since upped its filtering tools that are meant to prevent users from uploading copyrighted content, though the measures' effectiveness is questionable.

YouTube responded to Mediaset's announcement by pointing out it prohibits its users from uploading materials they do not own copyrights for, and cooperates with copyright holders in removing such content as soon as it's made aware of it.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. lockhartt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2000



    How does one arrive at "315,672 viewing days"? Has YouTube really been posting MediaSet content for nearly 100 years? ;)

    In any case, this seems a ill-conceived suit... it goes back to suing the gun makers when someone is killed by a gun (though I prefer the baseball bat as a better example, as at least a baseball bat wasn't intentionally designed to injure or kill). The system was not designed to be abused, and as long as YouTube is complying with copyright holders to remove material deemed in violation I don't see how this will hold up.

    Heck, we did a YMCA skit for Halloween last year and put it on YouTube only to be notified shortly thereafter that the copyright holder for the Village People's music had deemed our content in violation and it was yanked. Seemed a bit overzealous, but we did play a snippet of the original music in the background. So, YouTube is clearly working with copyright holders... regardless of how obscure and superficial the violations may be :)

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