YouTube emerged this week as the winner in a four-year legal tussle that attempted to paint the Google subsidiary as a willing party on internet practices that border on unfair competition.
On Tuesday, the popular video-sharing site won the favour of a Paris court, which threw out the legal suit filed in 2008 by French television channel TFI.
The TFI suit alleged that YouTube was directly responsible for video clips uploaded on its websites, which the former claimed exclusive commercial ownership.
The videos include television shows and interviews that TFI said was previously aired on its local networks.
The French TV network had alleged too that by not taking down the TFI clips on its website, which was regularly accessed by millions around the world, YouTube had benefitted through unspecified profits.
But on its ruling, the Tribunal de Grande Instance shot down TFI's claims and pointed out that the French firm failed to present reputable figures that would firmly establish its losses due to YouTube's alleged negligence.
The French civil court added that as a web-based firm that hosts millions of video uploads from millions of users the world over, YouTube "is under no obligation to control the content of videos posted online."
"YouTube is a priori not responsible for the content of videos posted on its website," the French tribunal was quoted by Agence France Presse (AFP) as saying on its decision.
As a direct result of the litigation, the court determined too that TFI must shoulder the court expenses generated by the hearings, which it set at around $US100,000.
In a statement, YouTube France chief of operations Christophe Muller said that the local courts sided with the interests of the net-surfing public in handing down the landmark ruling.
"(The court decision) represents a victory for the Internet and for all those who use it to exchange ideas and information," Mr Muller added.
The tribunal move, the YouTube official said, effectively "defends the right of innovation on content platforms generated by users."
In the future, the precedent set by the ruling will "help French artists and creators to reach new audiences in France and abroad," Mr Muller said.
TFI, a company spokesman told AFP, is considering an appeal on the court ruling, which the TV network said came as a complete surprise.
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