Veoh Sick Of Waiting For Lawsuit; Pre-emptively Sues Universal Music
from the stop-with-the-threats dept
Soon after this, Google bought YouTube, and as a part of the deal had them pay off Universal Music and the other labels. A rumored part of the deal was that the record labels would not sue YouTube, but would sue YouTube competitors. Universal Music obliged, suing smaller sites Bolt and Grouper. There was an attempted settlement, but problems with the settlement quashed a potential acquisition for Bolt recently. A month later, Universal also sued MySpace. Basically, it's decided to shake down every online video service, hoping for some cash settlements even though it would probably lose in court.
Last month, apparently, Universal Music alerted Veoh that it was "considering" suing the company for "massive copyright infringement," though it failed to provide any details. It's a typical shakedown situation. Basically a threat with nothing to back it up other than a "you wouldn't want to end up like those other websites, now would you?" implied threat. Veoh apparently decided to fight back. Rather than wait for Universal Music to file a lawsuit, it's gone to a judge to ask for a declaratory judgment that Veoh's service is perfectly legal under the DMCA safe harbor provisions. It's great to see at least one company stand up to Universal on this one -- especially after the disappointment of Google paying off the record labels on this issue. Hopefully the judge recognizes the issues at stake.