Feeds

Universal sues video sharing sites

But YouTube escapes action

Top three mobile application threats

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
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.