Google Seeks Greater Freedom in France


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Back in 2008, French TV network TF1 sued YouTube for copyright infringement, for hosting clips of some of its shows, including La Môme and Halloween. A judge in Paris finally dismissed the case on Tuesday, and Google is calling for a better acceptance of YouTube in France.

The government in France doesn't like Google, and fears it might go as far as disrupt its culture and language. The country poured millions into a search engine called Quaero years ago to compete with Google, and the search giant has been in court several times in France since. Though, with the win against TF1, Christophe Muller, YouTube’s head of southern Europe, Middle East and Africa partnerships, took to Google's European Public Policy Blog to equate the legal win to a testament of internet freedom:

“The overall decision is a victory for everyone who uses the Web. … After this decision, creators can be secure to post their materials on YouTube and other platforms and we can host their content without fearing a giant liability. The end result will be more videos posted on the Net, more revenue generated for creative artists, and more exposure to a global audience for these artists. - The verdict demonstrates how the Internet is enriching French culture. Over the past year, we have signed contracts with five French collecting societies to pay royalties to French writers, musicians, and other artists. More generally, we have a major investment plan for the French economy and culture, demonstrating how committed we are to France. By embracing the Web, this verdict moves France a step forward to further benefit from Internet’s massive economic and cultural opportunity. We hope this judgement will allow us to build constructive partnerships and bring more French language content online.”

Google takes up roughly 90% of the search market in France, and the legal win will surely make things run more smoothly for its YouTube branch. In related news, YouTube recently lost an infringement case in Germany, shedding light on a historically rough time with European legal systems.