YouTube launches in Germany

Legal wranglings delayed local site

The German version of YouTube has finally gone online after negotiations with local music rights protection orgs delayed its start for months.

Nearly identical to its U.S. counterpart, the German-language Youtube.de allows users to view and upload videos.

Some 60 YouTube partners, including local media companies, sports clubs and cultural institutions, are providing content, among them 20th Century Fox, pubcaster ZDF, producer-distrib Kinowelt, National Geographic, Universal Music, Sony BMG, Euronews, publishing group Gruner+Jahr, Deutsches Museum, Greenpeace and soccer clubs FC Bayern and VfB Stuttgart.

YouTube parent Google said that it already counts 6.5 million Teutonic YouTube users in Germany and that the local version is sure to raise that number. The video portal looks likely to edge out existing rivals here, such as ProSiebenSat1’s MyVideo and RTL’s Clipfish.

International versions of the site have previously gone online in France, the U.K., Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Japan and Brazil.

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