Once again a content provider operating in Italy has been held liable for copyright infringement regarding user generated contents.
The Court of Milan has recently condemned Libero.it, a provider owned by Italia Online Ltd., for violation of intellectual property rights on audiovisual works. The claim involves about a thousand videoclips from highly successful TV programmes such as Grande Fratello (Big Brother) and others. The programmes are owned by RTI Italy (Mediaset), a well-known broadcasting company.
The decision is mainly based on the fact that Libero.it had previously received a request from RTI Italy (Mediaset) to remove the files infringing copyright and failed to comply with that request.
Although the Court recognized the impossibility of carrying out precautionary checks on the files uploaded by users, the decision held Libero.it liable for not having verified the contents notified by RTI.
Libero.it’s defence was based on the fact that the RTI notification was a “general warning” containing only the titles of the programmes to be removed, and therefore it would have been “impossible to identify the specific videoclips in consideration of the huge number of videos posted daily by users.”
These grounds were not upheld by the Judge who held that, given the popularity of those programmes, “a merely superficial and cursory check” would have been sufficient to demonstrate RTI’s rights.
Consequently the Court ordered Libero.it to remove all videoclips and fixed a penalty of €250 per video for each additional day’s presence. The decision also provides that the amount due for damages should be determined by a second judgement following further investigation. Should RTI’s compensation request be upheld, the content provider would have to pay €100 million in compensation.