Two months ago, Universal Music's chief Doug Morris publicly claimed that both YouTube and MySpace owed his company millions of dollars. That claim has been disputed by legal experts, but it scared YouTube and Google enough to hand over a bunch of money to Universal Music and others to sue some other sites while leaving them alone. It appears that MySpace didn't get the hint. So, today, just hours after MySpace announced a new tool to better allow content owners to pull content off the site, Universal Music has officially sued MySpace. As for how they get around the protections MySpace is afforded as a service provider, it appears they're claiming that by reformatting the videos to play on the site, they're taking a more proactive role in the copyright infringement. It seems like a long shot, as MySpace has some pretty clear defenses. Either way, Universal Music has really been on a tear lately, as it demands money from pretty much everyone. You've got the people who actually buy the music (of course), the sites that then help promote by using it in videos and, of course, he convinced Microsoft to give them a cut for every Zune sold. He's probably proud of himself for bringing in these new "lines" of revenue, but it seems like a strategy destined to fail. He's just made it a lot more expensive and difficult for anyone to promote his music -- meaning they'll gladly look for other options.
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