French labels sue YouTube

Org accuses Web giant of copyright infringement

MADRID  — A rights collection org repping indie Gallic record labels has filed a lawsuit accusing YouTube of copyright infringement.

Gaul’s Societe Civile des Producteurs de Phonogrammes en France (SPPF) lodged the suit with Paris superior court Tribunal de Grand Instance, which handles civil offenses, the org’s director general, Jerome Roger, told Agence France Presse on Wednesday.

SPPF alleges that YouTube is again hosting more than 100 musicvids made by its members, which YouTube removed from its site after SPPF took legal action against it in 2008. The Gallic rights collection society is asking for E10 million ($13.4 million) in damages and interest.

Suits against such sites have produced fines in France, though it’s questionable whether legal action results in a meaningful cut in unauthorized content. Last year a Paris court fined Google Video France $222,450 for hosting an uncut version of William Karel’s 2004 docu “The World According to Bush,” produced by Flach Film.

Last September, Dailymotion, the Gallic version of YouTube, signed an agreement with three French rights holders’ orgs to share an undisclosed percentage of ad coin linked to its members’ content.

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