NEW YORK: England’s top soccer league and an independent U.S. music publisher have sued YouTube , saying the video-sharing website was engaging in massive copyright infringement to build traffic to the site.
The Premier League is the top division of English soccer, broadcast in 204 countries worldwide and viewed by audiences estimated by the league at 2.59 billion. Bourne Co. calls itself one of the leading independent publishers of music in the United States.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan seeks class-action status and asks for a disgorgement of profits made by the alleged actions, as well as unspecified damages.
Named as defendants were YouTube Inc., YouTube LLC and YouTube’s corporate parent, Google Inc. The lawsuit said a scheme by which website visitors can access, view, and otherwise exploit copyrighted materials without having to pay the owners of those materials made the Web site valuable enough for Google to pay $1.65 billion (euro1.2 billion) to buy YouTube in November.
In a statement, Google general counsel Kent Walker defended the site, saying,”These suits simply misunderstand the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which balances the rights of copyright holders against the need to protect Internet communications and content.”
He added:”They threaten the way people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression over the Internet.”
The lawsuit is not the first to challenge YouTube’s business model. Earlier this year, media conglomerate Viacom Inc. sued YouTube for $1 billion (euro740 million) in federal court in New York, claiming that the site had built a business by using the internet to “willfully infringe copyrights on a huge scale.” Viacom’s was the first lawsuit filed by a major media owner.
Several media companies have reached agreements to supply YouTube with clips, including CBS Corp., General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal and the British Broadcasting Corp., but many others remain reluctant to deal with the website because of copyright concerns.
Source : Times Of India