The recent YouTube court case in Germany may be good news for musicians and filmmakers in Germany, but what about American songwriters?
Under the German court ruling, Google is now mandated to provide better filters to prevent copyright violations by YouTube users.
Currently, in America, YouTube is protected from legal proceedings involving copyrights under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This act protects Web sites from legal liability for content that is displayed by users.
For years American musicians and filmmakers have asked for better protection from the Federal Government. However, when the United States Government tried to update the law with something called SOPA and PIPA, it quickly died.
Social networking sites like Google and even Wikipedia started online petitions that traveled quickly and lawmakers dropped the laws that would have made Web sites liable for what users post.
As it stands now in the United States, Google is safe from any court room visits involving angry American songwriters or filmmakers.
However, it is likely that after this YouTube court case in Germany, lawmakers in the United States will continue to find ways to update the 14-year-old DMCA.
If the law was to be updated and Google (YouTube’s parent company) would become liable for what material is used on their site, they would likely get rid of YouTube due to the financial liability.
YouTube users in America shouldn’t get too concerned just yet, as many politicians use YouTube and other social media sites to promote themselves, often times using music in their campaign videos that are posted on YouTube, as Gather stated.
Lawmakers are real people who enjoy the Internet just as much as the next person. They realize that watching videos like Jedi cat without the “Star Wars” music just isn’t the same.
So, it is very likely that Americans will not be largely affected by any court rulings in Germany or in the United States in the next few years. In the meantime, American songwriters and filmmakers may start looking to produce their work in Germany, where it is better protected.