Video sharing website Dailymotion has hit back against a recent French ruling that awarded TV broadcaster TF1 Group more than €1 million ($1.2 million), and has claimed the fine could have been much worse.
A spokesman for the website told TBO that the decision must be viewed in comparison to what the French TV broadcaster was originally claiming, which was “approximately €78 million”.
“While we are disappointed with the penalty associated with the ruling, we believe the judgment needs to be viewed in the wider context of the amount of compensation that TF1 was originally claiming,” the spokesman added.
The case centred on a claim made by TF1 Group and its branches, TF1, LCI, TF1 Video and e-TF1 in 2007 that individuals were using Dailymotion to upload and distribute its content without permission. TF1 claimed Dailymotion did not act quickly enough to remove infringing content.
The Paris Court of Appeal ruled in favour of TFI and fined the video sharing website €1.3 million, with TF1 declaring earlier that “the decision marks a significant step forward in the fight against content piracy.”
But, since the lawsuit was filed in 2007, Dailymotion says it has developed a respectable reputation among online content providers, and said the court ruling reflected that.
“Dailymotion has firmly cemented its status as a leading and respected hosting provider ... this court ruling loudly supports this status, and underlines, that as a hosting provider Dailymotion was not responsible for pirated content on its services,” a spokesman said.
Laëtitia Bernard, partner at the Paris office of law firm Allen & Overy, agreed that the fine could have been bigger, and attributed the low sum to TF1’s inability to “bring a strong assessment of damages”.
For Bernard, however, the court missed an opportunity to clarify what constitutes prompt action.
“What we were expecting with the decision is a definition of what is required from a service provider and what is supposed to be prompt. The court had an opportunity to provider clearer guidelines, but did not really do that,” she said.
Dailymotion; TF1; copyright infringement