YouTube wins German appeal over artists' fees

Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:54pm EST
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MUNICH (Reuters) - A German court has handed Google another legal victory over German performing rights organisation Gema, which had sought to make the company's video-sharing service YouTube pay each time users watch music videos by artists it represents.

YouTube has introduced schemes that allow artists to earn money from advertising sold alongside their videos but many in the music business argue this does not go far enough.

However, the regional court in Munich on Thursday rejected Gema's demand that YouTube pay 0.375 euro cents ($0.004) per view of certain videos, confirming the ruling of a lower court last year.

Google, now part of holding company Alphabet Inc, bought YouTube in 2006 and has faced multiple lawsuits from artists and music labels who say it makes money at their expense, even as it has emerged as one of the most popular for fans to discover new music by their favourite artists.

Gema said it intends to appeal the ruling at the federal court.

($1 = 0.9170 euros)

(This version of the story corrects paragraph 4 to show Google bought YouTube in 2006, didn't launch it in 2005.)

(Reporting by Joern Potz; Writing by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by David Goodman)

YouTube unveils their new paid subscription service at the YouTube Space LA in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles, California, United States October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files