BGH sees YouTube as the perpetrator of copyright infringement

Online services such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are liable as perpetrators according to today’s BGH ruling, provided they have not installed an upload filter.

The legal dispute in which the judgment of the Federal Court of Justice ( BGH) fell, has been running for over 02 years. At that time, the Hamburg music producer Frank Peterson, with the help of a lawyer, tried to ensure that no more works by his starlet Sarah Brightman could be heard or seen on YouTube. The corresponding videos have been deleted. To the chagrin of the producer, they were available again a short time later on the video platform.

Litigation has been ongoing since 14 years, BGH does not end it

In recent years, a lot has changed in this regard. Online services are only no longer liable as perpetrators if, according to the ECJ ruling a year ago, they have taken technical measures to proactively prevent copyright infringements. The legal basis has also changed in the meantime. According to the current EU copyright law, online platforms have to use upload filters anyway if they want to protect themselves from sensitive legal consequences.

BGH returns the case to the lower courts

The matter is far from over with today’s BGH ruling, also 14 Not years later. The BGH is now handing over the negotiations to the previous instance, which in future will have to make their judgments within the specified framework. In addition to the social networks, this also applies to the proceedings against the scene hoster, based in Switzerland.

BGH, Bundesgerichtshof

But the BGH has redefined the legal framework today. Unless online services distribute the content themselves, do not remove the illegal content in question “immediately” or If you do not take appropriate technical measures such as upload filters, then you are not liable as a so-called disruptor, but as a perpetrator. And this despite the fact that the works are uploaded by their users and not by the operators or employees of the companies. According to the BGH, perpetrator liability takes the same position as the previous liability for interference.

The rights holders can also oblige the platform operators to disclose the data of the uploaders to them. It is questionable whether this achieves much. In most cases, users only enter an e-mail address when registering, which does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about their identity.

Rights holders may sue for damages

In addition: So far, the platform operators have only been inactive in the event of copyright infringement obligated. The new ECJ judgment gave plaintiffs the opportunity to order YouTube & Co. to pay damages. In this case, one tries to calculate the lost income due to the illegally distributed works, which YouTube then has to pay for.

Financial incentives for illegal uploads prohibited

The BGH also stated that the operators may not offer any financial incentives for uploading illegal content to them. What is meant is the business model of online storage services such as & Co.

About Lars Sobiraj4274

Lars Sobiraj started in 2000 as a career changer for various computer magazines be. 2006 numerous other online magazines were added in addition to He is the founder of In addition, Ghandy, as he calls himself in the scene, has been teaching participants at various universities and training institutions since 2006, how the internet works.

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