September 19, 2021

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YouTube fined 100 000 Euros delaying court order to restore video

YouTube has been fined 100 000 Euros for being late in following
a court injunction to restore a video.

The 25-minute video about Corona protests in Switzerland had been removed
because of a five-second utterance of a demonstrator about Covid.

The Higher Regional Court at Dresden hat issued an interim injunction to
resintate the video on 2021-04-20; it took until 2021-05-14 for the video to
reappear.

To justify the delay, YouTube wrote

# The debtor [YouTube] therefore had to carefully weigh the respective
# consequences of the Higher Regional Court of Dresden's decision and its
# options before posting the video material back on YouTube for retrieval by
# third parties.

The opposing attorney was not amused (or maybe he was) and wrote

# The debtor thus once again underlines her assessment that she considers
# herself above the unconditional observance of a court prohibition and
# subordinates this to her own discretion. The Chamber will have to evaluate
# this attitude.

The court was not amused either and found that

# Against this background, the infringement is to be seen as a deliberate
# and - due to the duration - also serious infringement on the part of the
# defendant against the injunction, which - also taking into account the
# economic circumstances of the defendant against the injunction - justifies
# the imposition of a significantly higher fine than assumed by the Regional
# Court. Since, on the other hand, this is the first infringement on the
# part of the defendant, the Chamber has refrained from setting the fine at
# the maximum amount, but instead considers the imposition of a fine in the
# amount of €100,000.00 to be (still) sufficient as a result of the overall
# consideration.

# If it is not possible to recover the fine, it will be replaced by
# imprisonment.

A YouTube spokesperson was reported to have commented

"We have a responsibility to connect our users with trustworthy information
and combat misinformation during Covid-19." and "This is a single decision,
which we will respect and review accordingly".

Sources:

https://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/gesperrtes-video-gericht-verhaengt-offenbar-100-000-euro-ordnungsgeld-gegen-YouTube-a-3b1ce68d-fdc5-462c-a5fc-6b7a302f50ee

Original of the legal quotations are from

https://www.steinhoefel.com/2021/07/rumms-oberlandesgericht-dresden-verhaengt-ordnungsgeld-von-e-100-00000-gegen-YouTube.html