(AFP) – Jun 19, 2008
MADRID (AFP) — Spain's leading television channel Telecinco said Thursday it had filed a lawsuit against YouTube in a Spanish court, accusing the world's top video-sharing site of violating its intellectual property rights.
Telecinco, controlled by Italian broadcaster Mediaset which is owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said YouTube had refused to adopt "effective measures" to prevent clips of its programming from appearing on its site.
"YouTube is exploiting content that belongs solely and exclusively to Telecinco," the statement quoted the television channel's secretary general, Mario Rodriguez, as saying at a news conference in Madrid.
YouTube was hurting Telecinco by airing episodes of popular television shows which the chain holds the rights to before it broadcast them in Spain, he charged.
"For this reason we have the right to order that this illegal exploitation cease and to demand economic compensation," Rodriguez said.
In a statement, Telecinco said: "YouTube does not deny the systemic infractions of rights which are carried out in its website but it defends itself by saying they are committed by its users, not by it."
Last year, media giant Viacom slapped YouTube and its parent company Google with a lawsuit in a New York court for copyright infringement and claims for one billion dollars (645 billion euros) in damages.
In the lawsuit Viacom, which owns Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks and a number of cable channels, also asked the court for an injunction to halt the alleged copyright infringement.
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