GEMA – The RIAA and MPAA of Europe target YouTube and MySpace

1 min read

GEMA LogoThe RIAA is definitely one of the most hated organizations among internet users along with the MPAA for frequently preventing people from sharing music and video online, as well as restricting the use of media in general.

But these organizations are in the US and when it comes to Europe things can get A LOT worse. European internet law is significantly behind that of the US and in my view there is an inherent misunderstanding and lack of clarification of what is legal and what isn’t.

when it comes to Europe things can get A LOT worse

Germany has harsh internet laws

Germany itself has a very bad reputation for passing harsh sentences. For example, a German court once ruled that you have to check for illegal content on all the sites that you are linking to or you will be held liable. Another example is when a Munich court ruled that any German site linking to AlloMp3 would be breaking the law!

a Munich court ruled that any German site linking to AlloMp3 would be breaking the law!

Lack of DMCA and Safe Harbor in Europe

In the US there is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which means if you link to a website in good faith but it contains illegal copyrighted content and the content owner asks you to remove that link, and you do so, you are protected by law against legal action. Same applies with YouTube videos; if Fox ask YouTube to take down some TV clips and YouTube does so, YouTube should be okay under the DMCA.

Europe however has no such thing. This puts sites like YouTube in a very difficult position. No solid law has yet been formed making court cases in Europe a tougher battle that YouTube and others have feared.

GEMA Targets MySpace and YouTube

Now GEMA, one of the strongest collective licensing organizations in Europe, has its eyes set on YouTube and MySpace. GEMA has recently had a number of wins in its favor forcing a number of websites into licensing deals. This has only made GEMA’s position against YouTube and MySpace stronger in Europe.

GEMA has its eyes set on YouTube and MySpace

So the plot continues to thicken as YouTube and MySpace are about to face the music in another court battle that could send the internet in a very restrictive direction. NewsCorp (the mother of MySpace), and Google (the newly appointed mother of YouTube), will be using their big pockets and expert lawyers to fight this one with all the brawn they can muster.

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