Today is an important day for the Web. A French court rejected claims from France’s largest television broadcaster TF1 that YouTube has violated its copyright.

The case reaches back to March 2008 when TF1 sued YouTube over copyright infringement by making available of several of their TV programs on YouTube: TF1 claimed more than EUR140 million in damages.

The overall decision is a victory for everyone who uses the Web. Every day, hundreds of millions of people use computers and mobile devices, tablets and televisions to freely exchange ideas and information. After this decision, these creators can be secure to post their materials on YouTube and other platforms and we can host their content without fearing a giant liability. The end result will be more videos posted on the Net, more revenue generated for creative artists, and more exposure to a global audience for these artists. Already, we have deals in place with 3,000 media groups around the world, including important French partners such as BFM, Arte and AFP.

The verdict demonstrates how the Internet is enriching French culture. Over the past year, we have signed contracts with five French collecting societies to pay royalties to French writers, musicians, and other artists. More generally, we have a major investment plan for the French economy and culture, demonstrating how committed we are to France.

By embracing the Web, this verdict moves France a step forward to further benefit from Internet’s massive economic and cultural opportunity. We hope this judgement will allow us to build constructive partnerships and bring more French language content online. Watch this space!

Posted by Christophe Muller, Head of YouTube partnerships, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa