Thursday 23 September 2010

Google wins in Spain "A big win for the internet"

This morning, it was reported that Google has won a case in Spain where Telecinco was seeking to impose liability for YouTube in respect of content uploaded by users of YouTube.

With a mixture of hyperbole and predictability, Google has heralded the victory as "a big win for the internet"

What is fascinating about the reporting of this case is that, as far as I can see, in all instances (including this blog posting) the primary source of the information reported is not a formal case report or decision, but the Google press release posted on one of their own blogs - follow the link above to read it for yourselves. That press release was picked up by a number of news organisation and their reporting then spread around the internet.

European law undoubtedly does give protection to a hosting service in certain circumstances where it "does not have actual knowledge of illegal activity or information and, as regards claims for damages, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which the illegal activity or information is apparent" - but it is somewhat of a jump from that proposition to the conclusion that it is established law that YouTube is undoubtedly the beneficiary of that protection in all circumstances - nevertheless, many reputable news sources have reported Google's own coverage of their victory as if it were unblemished fact. What do readers think?

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