Eight more parties join YouTube class action case

Written by Tim Smalley

August 7, 2007 | 08:30

Tags: #act #action #bourne #boxing #class #copyright #daniel #digital #dmca #football #journalist #lawsuit #league #youtube

Companies: #google #premier

Yesterday, the FA Premier League and independent music publisher Bourne Co. revealed that eight more parties joined the copyright lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company Google.

The new parties that have recently joined the suit includes the National Music Publishers’ Association – the largest music publishing trade association in the US.

Other parties that have joined the fight against YouTube include the Rugby Football League, the Finnish Football League, Knockout Entertainment, Siminole Warriors Boxing, X-Ray Dog Music, author Daniel Quinn and LA journalist Bob Tur.

Tur was the first to file a copyright case against YouTube last year, but has decided to drop his individual suit to join the suit led by the Premier League. “After careful analysis and consideration, I have concluded that the class action is the most effective way for independent copyright holders to secure the judicial remedies that I am seeking,” said Tur in a statement.

Viacom also filed its own case against YouTube, but the two cases were combined for trial purposes. Collectively, the parties have charged YouTube and Google with deliberately encouraging copyright infringement to generate public attention and to increase the video sharing site’s traffic.

“We are pleased to see so many other copyright holders joining us in what we are trying to achieve,” said a Premier League spokesman yesterday. “The clear and growing message to YouTube and Google is simple: their callous and opportunistic business model is contrary to right, contrary to law, and must and will be stopped.”

A Google spokesman returned fire though, claiming that the lawsuit misunderstood Internet copyright laws. “We are disappointed with this lawsuit, as we have great partnerships with the Premier League’s own Chelsea FC, as well as major football clubs such as Barcelona FC, AC Milan, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, who understand the benefit of using YouTube as another way to communicate with their fans.

“The lawsuit simply misunderstands the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which balances the rights of copyright holders against the need to protect Internet communications and content. As a result, it threatens the way people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression over the Internet.

The spokesman went on to say that “Most content owners understand that we respect copyrights, we work every day to help them manage their content, and we are developing state-of-the-art tools to let them do that even better.”

One of the state-of-the-art tools that the spokesman refers to is the new piracy prevention system we reported last week.

It almost seems to be a case of six of one and half a dozen of another and I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Do you think YouTube will be hit with heavy fines, or will the proposed anti-piracy tools save the site’s skin? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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