Thursday, 17 December 2009
Italian Courts, latest score: Berlusconi 1; YouTube 0
The Italian court today struck a significant blow in favour of Mediaset, the broadcaster controlled by Silvio Berlusconi, and against YouTube. The judge, Tommaso Marvasi, apparently ordered YouTube to remove ALL content of Mediaset that had been illegally uploaded to the site, which Mediaset had pointed out during the trial amounted to thousands of clips and hundreds of hours of programming. 1709 hasn't yet got its hands on the original judgement (and anyway, doesn't speak good enough Italian), but press reports speak of the emphasis given to the amount of Italian Big Brother (grande fratello?)programming on the site and the importance of Big Brother in Italy.
We await with interest the decision to see how the judge analyses the relevant key provisions of European law, and in particular the scope of the "hosting" defence under the Ecommerce Directive in this context. No doubt lawyers in other jurisdictions are already sharpening their writs in pursuit of YouTube - in the meantime, the Viacom v YouTube litigation continues to wend its way through the New York courts, with no sign of an imminent conclusion.