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TF1 may sue Dailymotion, YouTube

Broadcaster alleges copyright theft

PARIS — France’s largest private TV broadcaster TF1 is set to seek damages totaling e150 million ($217 million) against video file-sharing sites Dailymotion and the localized YouTube for copyright infringement, unfair competition and failing to prevent content piracy.

TF1 is particularly aggrieved to have seen broadcasts of its hit U.S. series “Heroes” and an exclusive performance by popular French comedian Gad Elmaleh so extensively downloaded, according to news magazine Le Point

The network claims that the file-sharers’ actions have cost it up to $97,000 in lost advertising revenues and video-on-demand sales per pirated episode of “Heroes.” One episode had been viewed over 80,000 times.

TF1 also plans to defend the exclusivity of its news broadcasts, regularly rebroadcast on Dailymotion.

In an interview with Le Point, Dailymotion’s legal affairs director Giuseppe di Martino called TF1’s demands excessive and unreasonable. He also pointed to recent comprehensive agreements made by Dailymotion with Canal Plus and Universal Music regarding content protection.

Both TF1 and Dailymotion declined to comment to Variety about the possibility of legal proceedings.

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