Appeals Court Tells Universal Music: You Lost The Veoh Case, Get Over It

from the moving-on... dept

The Universal Music case against Veoh is quite incredible on many layers. Universal Music sued Veoh, a YouTube-like company, despite the fact that Veoh was quite careful in abiding by the DMCA's safe harbor rules. Universal Music has lost at every single level, though the costs of the lawsuit put Veoh out of business (someone else bought up the domain and continues to run a site, but it's not the original Veoh). Despite losing, and losing badly, Universal Music keeps pumping huge sums of money into the law firms it hired to continually appeal the rulings against it, despite them being overwhelmingly against Universal Music. Back in March, the appeals court, once again sided with Veoh, but Universal Music asked for the court to rehear the case.

The Ninth Circuit appeals court has made it clear it has no interest in rehearing the case:
The panel has voted to deny Appellant's petition for rehearing. Judges Pregerson and Berzon have voted to deny the petition for rehearing en banc and Judge Fisher so recommends.

The full court has been advised of the petition for rehearing en banc and no judge has requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter en banc.
Basically, not a single judge on the court thinks there's any issue here at all. Universal Music lost. It lost big. It lost clearly and with little question to whether or not it should have lost. Not a single judge on the court thought that it's even worth bothering exploring this issue again since the issues and the decision were so clear.

Of course, given that Universal Music's lawyers seem to be running the show, I fully expect them to ask the Supreme Court to review the case as well (rack up those billing hours!). Chances are the Supreme Court will deny cert (what's the issue to review here?), but if they actually take the case, it could lead to a clear decision on how Universal Music's warped interpretation of the DMCA, that it requires filters, is obviously incorrect.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 3:10pm

    I'm actually rather hoping this does end up being ruled on by the Supreme Court, as I'd love to see UM try and find some 'higher court'(a petition to the white house maybe?) when they get squashed again.

    Also, and I'm sure this has been brought up before, but I find it important enough to ask again: given the fact that UM's lawsuits were obviously to a) put Veoh out of business due to legal fees, and b) to set a precedent for later cases beneficial to UM, why has UM not been ordered to pay Veoh's legal fees? This is pretty much a textbook example of 'vexatious litigation', so why hasn't UM been ordered to pay the legal fees of their target as punishment?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:25pm

      Re:

      I'm with you on this. SCOTUS should just take this simply to make it final and set a clear legal precedent for all of the lower courts to follow in these sorts of cases. Call it an opportunity for preventive maintenance.

       

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        PRMan, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:46pm

        Re: Re:

        They typically don't do that, but it would be wise sometimes if they did.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 9:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, I know. They are more fond of punting issues rather than finding a reason to actually deal with them at all much less deal with them in a proactive and efficient manner.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 6:58pm

      Re:

      Veoh can't sue until all the legal smack downs have happened to UM.

       

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        That One Guy (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 12:12am

        Re: Re:

        They don't need to sue, there just needs to be a judge willing to tell UM 'this is clearly vexatious litigation on your part, and if you continue you will be punished for it' and then have the spine to follow through.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 8:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yep, I'm thinking....90% of all revenues from any Universal Product that Veoh held for the tax years this case has gone on.

           

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    AdamR (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 3:51pm

    I wondering how much they have spent on these cases, so when they cry about the poor artist and song writers starving I can point out the millions wasted for no clear reason.

     

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      Loki, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:24pm

      Re:

      Yeah but those legal fees were most likely paid for by the countless extortion letters sent out by Prenda style law firms, so in the end it really didn't cost UM anything.

      It must be nice to be able to run a business where you can screw the consumers AND get them to pay for it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    Like MC Hammer said, "You can't touch this".

    The hammer time has come and pass.

    Pinky and Brains will have to go to the drawing board again trying to find another "anchor" to pin their plans on it, the forcing filter scheme sank.

     

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    RD, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    Universal didnt lose

    Universal didnt lose. They put a competitor with a superior service out of business through draining thier funds via litigation. This is not a bug, its a feature.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

      Re: Universal didnt lose

      That was supposed to be the cherry on the top, and like you said a feature not the main feature they were looking for though.

      They wanted the power to force filtering and probably be able to chose what filtering was adequate or not, the courts disagreed hard on that.

      And the shill here who parroted that line may be feeling a bit stupid right about now LoL

       

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      PopeyeLePoteaux, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:32pm

      Re: Universal didnt lose

      "When you're young you innovate, when you're old you litigate"

      I don't know who said that, but it is applicable to this.

       

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      CK20XX, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:34pm

      Re: Universal didnt lose

      The funny thing is, Universal seems to be so wrapped-up in this case that they don't even seem to realize that they won by losing. Most businesses are short-term thinkers like that, unable to realize how they sabotage their own futures with their practices, but Universal's logic is shorter than an ant's leg here. When you put your profits before your customers, in time you will have neither.

       

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        madasahatter (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 6:25pm

        Re: Re: Universal didnt lose

        On the key legal issues they set a precedent and lost. Thus another Veoh will not face the same litigation strategy. Ultimately Universal lost in the long term.

         

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          jd2112 (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: Universal didnt lose

          Thus another Veoh will not face the same litigation strategy.
          No, the will face the same strategy. Sue them until they are broke, no matter how many times they win.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 9:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Universal didnt lose

            Except that accomplishing that will be much more difficult because any new defendant can point to the legal precedent AND the fact that the courts determined that it was a vexatious lawsuit to have the case dismissed early on without having to litigate it.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    On an unrelated note.

    Have any of you notice the similarities between MC Hammer and Psy?

    Put the 2 dancing side by side and you see how they dress and move :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 7:19pm

    "Cuuuuuuurse you, Masniiiiiick!" howled out_of_the_blue. Now he would have to use his own pubic hairs for his fake evil mustache.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 2:25am

    although it is extremely important that UM has lost the case, the fact is they won anyway. Veoh ceases to be and as far as UM is concerned, that is the thing they wanted most. what the court should do is give Veoh all expenses and sufficient funds from UM so the service can get up and running again, then make it clear that they are doing everything in a legal manner and cannot be sued anymore! i mean, what is the point of winning if you have had to stop trading anyway? all that means is you have cleared the way for another, well-funded group to come along and start up on the back of your trial

     

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    Tim Griffiths (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 2:56am

    A perfect example of...

    This just strikes me as a huge case of gamblers fallacy. They took a risk on the case hoping that it would pay off and each time it hasn't they've looked at the time and money and thought "well a bit more and surely we'll get what we want and it will all be worth it". They are going to play this through to the end because if they simply cut their losses now they'll have to admit to themselves it's what they should have done in the first place and heads will roll. So those self same heads will justify anything if they can convince themselves theirs hope.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 4:08am

    As it was well pointed UM didn't lose this battle. They brought their opponent to the ground. However I see this casualty as a necessity to establish a solid precedent as it was also pointed by the first commenter.

    I am wary of how things will develop though. Without some serious competition maybe due to the chilling effects from this lawsuit and the one from Viacom against Youtube this same Youtube managed to get firmly established as THE platform for hosting and streaming user generated videos. Which poses the same issue of Amazon monopolizing the ebook market, Apple the digital mp3 songs. They simply dictate what happens in the market and in Youtube's case you have those problematic Content ID takedowns and arbitrary censorship (usually due to moral standings). A more diversified market would be preferable.

    That said, the MAFIAA are the biggest losers in any of the cases due to their own incompetency.

     

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