Berlusconi's Mediaset sues YouTube for €500m

Mediaset, the media empire founded by Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, is seeking at least €500 million (US$779 million) in damages against Google's YouTube service for allegedly misusing video produced by Mediaset, an Associated Press report said.

In a lawsuit filed with Rome civil court, Mediaset said it had identified on YouTube at least 4,643 video clips of Mediaset-owned material that was available on June 10 alone after being posted 'without obtaining rights,' the report added.

Those clips totaled 325 hours of broadcasts from Mediaset's three private television stations, the Italian company said.

It said the €500 million claim was only an initial damage figure and did not take into account losses from its inability to sell advertising to accompany the clips.

YouTube maintains it obeys the law by removing any copyrighted content after being notified of a violation by the copyright owner.