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.