UMG Sues MySpace

I’ve written about YouTube’s copyright dilemma: its unlicensed copyright-protected user-posted content draws considerable viewer traffic (good for revenue) and legal heat from copyright owners (potentially very bad for revenue), and Google has reserved about $224 million of the amount if paid to acquire YouTube to settle prospective copyright infringement claims. This week brought news of Universal Music Group’s copyright infringement suit against MySpace on similar facts. UMG claims that MySpaces’s video uploading and link-sharing tools enable copyright infringement and that “MySpace encourages this rampant infringement so that it can drive more traffic to MySpace.com, thereby increasing defendants’ advertising revenue and profits at [UMG’s] expense.” One facet of UMG’s claim concerns re-posting of copyrighted files by users after MySpace has removed the original unlicensed copyright-protected file. MySpace (like YouTube) follows DMCA safe-harbor procedures and takes down files after receiving notice from copyright holders that the files have been posted without permission. UMG claims that users often immediately re-post such files and that the DMCA does not require it to initiate a new notice-and-take-down request for such files–unexplored territory under the DMCA, as far as I know.

Wendy Davis, Universal Music Sues MySpace, Online Media Daily, 20-Nov-06

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