Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Instead of YouTube Universal Music Sues Grouper and

The story everyone expected to see this week was a major media company suing YouTube over copyright. Well, Universal Music has indeed sued some video sharing companies today, but thanks to a deal struck with YouTube last week, the market leader escaped unharmed. Instead it’s two smaller players - and Grouper - that face the wrath of Universal’s lawyers and a possible $150,000 in damages for every copyright infringement.

Universal says that thousands of videos are being shared without permission, which would put the total figure owed in the hundreds of millions. According to Reuters, the charge is “copying, reformatting, distributing and creating derivative works from Universal’s musicians”. As it happens, the $150,000 figure is pretty standard in these cases: it’s the amount that News Corp, NBC Universal and Viacom could sue YouTube for if the site doesn’t offer them a decent cut of the revenue. A Universal spokesperson is quoted as saying “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”. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, late today.

Full story...


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