YouTube lost its legal fight in Germany on Friday, after the Hamburg regional court ruled that the video-sharing service was responsible for copyright-infringed content posted on the site.
Ruling in favour of German performing rights agency GEMA, the case was centred around 12 videos uploaded to YouTube without the consent of its copyright holders. Judging the case on seven of the 12 videos, the court has asked for YouTube to install filters in order to determine if videos copyrighted by GEMA are uploaded.
"We reached our primary goal one hundred per cent, to have the court confirm that YouTube is fundamentally responsible for videos posted by users," stated GEMA chairman Harald Heker.
"YouTube must implement appropriate measures to protect our repertoire and cannot simply pass on this obligation to the copyright holders," Heker added. "This is an important victory for us."
YouTube, which admitted to not being held accountable for the activity undertaken by its users, stated: "Today's ruling confirms that YouTube as a hosting platform cannot be obliged to control the content of all videos uploaded to the site. We remain committed to finding a solution to the music licensing issue in Germany that will benefit artists, composers, authors, publishers and record labels, as well as the wider YouTube community."
YouTube can still appeal the verdict, but Google has not confirmed whether or not the company will do so.