Feeds

Universal sues video sharing sites

But YouTube escapes action

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Universal Music Group (UMG) said it has filed law suits against two online video sharing websites, Grouper and Bolt, alleging copyright infringement.

The biggest sharing site, YouTube, escaped the writ because of a recent deal agreed with Universal.

The suit will stake a claim to damages of up to $150,000 for each example of copyright infringement; examples are believed to run into their thousands.

"Grouper and Bolt cannot reasonably expect to build their business on the backs of our content and the hard work of our artists and songwriters without permission and without compensating the content creators," a Universal spokesman said.

Universal has been the most aggressive of the four major music labels in its pronouncements on protecting its copyrights. Chief executive Doug Morris has in the past said that sites such as YouTube are mass infringers of copyright and vowed to take action.

The company, which is owned by French firm Vivendi, said it had forged a "strategic partnership" with YouTube last week just before that business was bought by Google. That deal licensed people who posted videos to YouTube to use Universal's music catalogue as a soundtrack.

"UMG broadly embraces the power and creativity of user-generated content, allowing users to incorporate music from UMG's recorded music catalogue into the videos they create and upload onto YouTube," said a Universal statement last week. "UMG and its artists will be compensated not just for UMG produced videos but also for the unique, user created content that incorporates UMG music."

Bolt said it adopts a policy of taking down copyright infringing material when it is notified about it. "There's no question that people upload copyrighted content from time to time and occasionally we receive official notices to remove content and we do," Bolt chief executive and co-founder Aaron Cohen told news agency Reuters. Bolt is attempting to agree a licensing deal with Universal, the agency said.

Sony Pictures agreed to buy Grouper earlier this summer for $65m and Universal's claim reserves the right to add Sony to its suit.

It has been thought till now that "safe harbour" protections would protect video sites which take down copyrighted material once they are informed of it, but Universal's suit could challenge that, potentially setting an explosive precedent if successful.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.