Court Says YouTube Cannot Publicly Blame GEMA for Blocked Videos…

We all hate those pesky “video not available in your area” YouTube notices:

YouTube_blocked_Germany_GEMA_en (1)
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But in this case, why is YouTube calling out a specific entity for not granting them rights? Seems pretty passive aggressive.

GEMA is a German copyright organization, representing 68,000 members in Germany and many more from the rest of the world.  In 2009, GEMA opted not to strike a licensing agreement with YouTube after the pair failed to agree on streaming rates.

In 2010, discussions deteriorated and GEMA sued YouTube.  Subsequently, the rights organization wanted YouTube to block titles of videos that were being illegally uploaded by users.  In 2012, the Court of Hamburg decided YouTube was responsible for these infringing videos and needed to make sure they weren’t on the platform.

YouTube keeps titles controlled by GEMA off the platform, but they also put up a notice blaming GEMA for blocked videos.  Since GEMA represents a lot of members, this message pops up frequently.

On top of that, GEMA says YouTube goes out of its way to block unrelated videos and then puts up the message blaming them.  Understandably, GEMA took YouTube to court, alleging that YouTube’s finger-pointing has been damaging their reputation.

The District Court of Munich agrees with GEMA, saying YouTube has illegally made them out as a villain. The court said YouTube should make it clear that the videos are unavailable because of a disagreement between both parties.

The verdict is not yet finalized. If it goes through as-is, YouTube could be fined up to €250,000 for every video that continues to display the message.

GEMA CEO Dr. Harald Heker said:

“The decision sends an important and positive signal: It’s not GEMA preventing the enjoyment of music on the Internet.  It seeks merely to license YouTube, like all other music portals.  Our concern is that the artists participate in the economic exploitation of their works and can earn a livelihood in the future.”

18 Responses

  1. Tune Hunter

    YouTube can become 20 billion dollar retailer and wholesaler of just Music.
    Add to it other media and you will see 30B operation in few years.
    The only reason we are not moving this direction is Google’s intoxication with advertising.
    They are so blinded by ads and advertising income that it is impossible to even start conversation on better way of monetization. Wimpiness of labels and inaction of RIAA just prolongs the stagnation.

    Unless we can access proper folks at Google and show them better way they will continue to prostitute 100 tunes for one PPC. 4billion videos seen every day with just 20 million dollars in income does just that considering that half of it is music and one PPC = $1

  2. Anonymous

    “We all hate those pesky “video not available in your area” YouTube notices”

    Yeah, Google is Internet Crybaby #1.

    The funny thing is that their whining usually backfires like there’s no tomorrow. Remember their ‘transparency reports’? 🙂

  3. laszlo szell

    i also get these messages for videos we definitively and undisputedly own and control for the world with music content that is also owned and controlled both master and publishingwise for the world by us, whereas respective musical compositions are registered exactly with very same GEMA that prohibits me and anybody else to see my video in GEMA contriolled territories. this is how GEMA and dr. hecker push help me to earn money and participate on the youtube exploitation that is being blocked by very themselves. and we can do nothing about. really hypocritical and perverted.

    • Tune Hunter

      Be thankful that you don’t participate as a micro victim in this industrial rape.
      Logical monetization is available and overdue.
      Google Bulldog has to switch large portion of advertising madness to direct monetization.
      Google should be the force changing, not stubbornly defending, current “fair use doctrine” – with their positioning they can control 50B of 100 billion dollar industry in 2020.

  4. Anonymous

    Meanwhile, YouTube now censures Katy Perry video, according to Jerusalem Post.

    It’s not clear yet whether the attack on internet freedom is a result of YouTube, Katy Perry’s, label or both.

    I’ll post the link below, but it probably takes a day for it to appear because of dmn’s spam filter. Until then, you can google the headline “YouTube quietly removes ‘Allah’ symbol from Katy Perry video”.

  5. PiratesWinLOL

    Where is the freedom of speech for YouTube? This horrible GEMA organization take down videos annoying many people and YouTube can’t even tell the obvious fact about this? Orwell correctly stated that freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2 is 4, but apparently freedom doesn’t exist in this wonderful country that brought us Hitler & Hinterseer.

    • TuneHunter

      That country has no unemployment, vibrant industry, national healthcare and solvent retirement plan.

      Global music industry is a whorehouse without cash register.

      • PiratesWinLOL

        “That country has no unemployment”

        No unemployment? 7.3 percent or more than 3 million people is nobody? Also, pretty much every developed country in the world has national healthcare and even many 3rd world countries… It is only the US that has derailed completely on this point, due to obvious lies and corruption.

        “Global music industry is a whorehouse without cash register.”

        I totally agree that the music industry should be based on a victorian sexual morality.

    • Chris

      “This horrible GEMA organization take down videos annoying many people and YouTube can’t even tell the obvious fact about this?”

      OR you could have the actual truth – Gema has told YouTube that their miserably low rates per stream are not enough for their businesses to survive so have told YouTube that until they pay a fair rate they cannot use their member’s content.

      Google with their $150Bn cash in the bank can afford to pay a decent rate per stream – but NO it’s far too easy for freetards to blame the labels and their rights agency

      • Anonymous

        “Gema has told YouTube that their miserably low rates per stream are not enough for their businesses to survive so have told YouTube that until they pay a fair rate they cannot use their member’s content”

        Yeah, thank god that somebody still has the guts to stand up against the Emperor — especially in the EU.

      • PiratesWinLOL

        Why on earth should they be forced to publish their whining on their private website? Such things would never happend in a free country. Fact is that this backward GEMA organization reject the only thing that has proven to be able to increase the total revenue of the music industry: Streaming. YouTube should be allowed to use their freedom of speech, to reveal to the consumers who is behind this futile attempt to hold back technology and progression, to pursue their stubborn, backward and greedy agenda. Also it is not only YouTube and consumers that is getting really tired of GEMA, for example the CEO of Sony Music in Germany stated that:

        ““I suspect that some members of GEMA’s supervisory board have not yet arrived in the digital era. We want to see streaming services like VEVO and Spotify in the German market. [These platforms] must not be blocked by GEMA any longer. Artists and music companies are losing sales in the millions”

    • Timmytoby

      “Freedom of Speech” is not unlimited (and should not be).
      By European and German law there are a lot of exceptions and that includes Malicious Gossip and Defamation.
      The court decided that the notices on blocked videos fall under this exception, and as much as I find the common Gema practices distasteful, in this I have to agree.
      Google Germany behaved like a spoiled child who really needs a time-out.
      I wish both sides would just find a rational compromise, instead of behaving like bitches and throwing temper-tantrums. At this rate this whole mess will drag on for another 4 years.

  6. Paolo

    If your government (or company or school) blocks youtube site, or only some videos, you can easily watch and download youtube video from this web site:

    It is easy and does not require proxy or to install software. It allows you to search quickly video on YouTube, respecting your privacy and without showing Promoted Videos, but also allows you to watch videos without beginning and without advertising banner superimposed. You can easily save videos to your PC, phone or mp3 player.

    Please share it on your facebook and your friends. Keep the freedom of internet!

  7. Julia

    people use youtube NOT only for music videos, but for uploading and sharing their home vids, sport events, reports and so on. if music is happend to be in the background, the video is blocked! this makes no sense. if its so important for GEMA that my kittens or volleyball team won’t appear in the internet without paying them – just mute the video, but show it!