In a factually similar claim to the current Viacom litigation, Google/YouTube was sued by Italian media company and broadcaster Mediaset, which is owned by Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The company is seeking a minimum of EUR 500 million for copyright violations and hypothetical, lost ad revenue.
According to Reuters:
Mediaset claims to have found “at least 4,643 videos and clips owned by us, equivalent to more than 325 hours of transmission without having rights” on YouTube in a simple analysis June 10.
The company argued the infringement was “equal to the loss of 315,672 days of broadcasting on its three TV channels.” As with Viacom there’s a factual question as to whether the content’s appearance on YouTube caused any actual damage to the company or its shows.
However, (I’m not clear on Italian law), there may be statutory damages available for the acts of the violations themselves (uploading and viewing of the shows), despite the potential absence of any actual damages.