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Universal Music files infringement suit against Veoh

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 07 Sep 2007 5:59 User comments (1)

Universal Music files infringement suit against Veoh Universal Music Group is suing viral video site operator Veoh Networks for copyright infringement.
The suit, which is similar to those YouTube is currently defending itself against, has a somewhat unique twist. Less than two months ago Veoh Networks filed a suit of their own against Universal. That suit claimed the music giant had sent letters threatening legal action over copyright infringement, but included no specific details to back up that claim. Veoh's suit was intended as a pre-emptive strike to force Universal to back down.

At the time there was speculation that Universal was really looking for a licensing deal similar to the one they worked out with YouTube. Much like the situation with Veoh, in that case Universal filed a lawsuit, but then they dropped the suit after coming reaching an agreement on licensing. It's even possible this tactic may have gotten them more favorable terms, with the lawsuit hanging over YouTube's head being a good reason to come to agreement or else.

While Universal's new suit calls Veoh "a massive copyright infringer that has built its business on the back of others' intellectual property," it's possible that the music company's lack of specifics to the video site may be their undoing.

YouTube has always claimed that by following the DMCA's so-called takedown rules, which require copyright holders to inform them about infringing content so it can be removed, shields them from any infringement claims. If they are correct about that, it seems unlikely that Universal, who apparently hasn't been informing Veoh of specific instances of infringement, is simply allowing it to occur so they can complain about it.

According a written statement from Veoh CEO Steve Mitgang, "UMGs action is not surprising and reflects their Limited understanding of Veoh and of the online video space as a whole." It went on to say "Veoh is recognized by many media companies as a DMCA-compliant company and is committed to respecting the rights of content owners. In fact, were currently working cooperatively with major media companies and the MPAA to develop standards for copyright protection. Its unfortunate that UMG prefers to continue their pattern of litigation rather than contribute to the important discussions going on within the new media industry."

A spokesman for Universal, Peter Lofrumento, said in a statement that Veoh's business plan "is based on theft" and "deprives UMG and its artists and songwriters of compensation for their work."

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised that a leading member of the RIAA, which has taken to financial negotiation by lawsuit with consumers, would do the show the same arrogance in their dealings with a much smaller company.

Source: Wired

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1 user comment

111.9.2007 1:12

here we go again with the lawsuits again. just a different name.

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