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YouTube under fire from footballers, Thailand

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The UK's Premier League is suing YouTube for showing clips of football matches.

The soccer body has filed for "a copyright infringement class action" to stop YouTube showing its clips and those of other rights holders. Music publisher Bourne and Co is joining the case, which has been filed in New York.

For anyone else keen to get involved, a website has been set up to collect other litigants for the class action - there's more here.

The complaint filed in the Southern District Court of New York says: "Defendants are pursuing a deliberate strategy of engaging in, permitting, encouraging, and facilitating massive copyright infringment on the YouTube website because the presence of large amounts of valuable intellectual property generates interest in that website."

The filing lists 16 matches played in April 2007. Bourne and Co mentions songs including Inka Dinka Doo, Let's Fall in Love, and Smile.

But footballers are not the only ones taking action: Thailand is launching legal action against the video site over claims it posted a video which insulted the Thai King - a serious offence in Thailand which can earn you up to 75 years in prison. A Swiss man was recently sentenced to 10 years for painting over a poster of the king, but was later pardoned.

Communications and Information Technology minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom said he would push for criminal charges against the company on Friday. He will ask for "a petition to the criminal court for emergency protection", according to the Bangkok Post. The Ministry is considering whether it can file charges in an international court.

Thai authorities say if Google can remove links from its search engine at the behest of Chinese authorities then it should do the same when Thailand acts to protect the image of its king.

In other news, allegedly soon-to-be former Prime Minister Tony Blair has recorded his first YouTube clip - recording a message of congratulations to new French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

Blair, or at least his flunkies, have set up a YouTube channel for the departing PM. Blair posted two messages congratulating Sarkozy - one in English and one in French, the French version a minute longer than the English. ®

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