Saturday, November 18, 2006

:: adgruntie :: More copyright infringement issues for MySpace

+ Universal sues Myspace over copyright infringement claiming the site allows users to upload and download songs and music videos.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, is seen as part of a strategy by Universal to test provisions of a federal law that provides a "safe harbor" to Internet companies that follow certain procedures to filter out copyrighted works. The law requires sites to remove such content after being notified by the copyright holder.

If Universal can win in court, it is likely to gain leverage in negotiating licensing terms with user-driven services — just at the moment that those services are attracting deep-pocketed partners.

Earlier this year, Universal's chief executive, Doug Morris, publicly identified the YouTube video-sharing site and MySpace as copyright infringers. Universal successfully negotiated to take a stake in YouTube shortly before it was sold to Google for $1.65 billion, according to executives briefed on the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity. But licensing talks with MySpace recently reached an impasse.

MySpace said in a statement yesterday that it complied with the requirements of federal law. The company said it had kept Universal, a unit of Vivendi, "closely apprised of our industry-leading efforts to protect creators' rights, and it's unfortunate they decided to file this unnecessary and meritless litigation."

"We provide users with tools to share their own work — we do not induce, encourage, or condone copyright violation in any way," MySpace said.

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