Last month video-sharing site Veoh preemptively sued Universal Music Group and asked a federal court to declare that 1) Veoh doesn’t violate Universal’s copyrights and 2) Universal can’t get an injunction against Veoh for any copyright violations that happen to be up on the site. This move played great in the blogosphere, but it’s unclear what other benefits it had. Now, UMG has sued Veoh, claiming that there is indeed rampant piracy on the site and that Veoh is indeed responsible.
Says UMG: “A business plan that is based on theft and which deprives UMG and its artists and songwriters of compensation for their work is not one that the law endorses and will ultimately be proven to be a failed strategy.” The first part of that sentence is obviously true (although it’s not clear that Veoh is doing the “stealing” and “depriving,”) but the second half is an open question: Some copyright infringers have been squashed by copyright holders (see Napster 1.0, Kazaa, et al) while others have done just fine, at least so far (see, for starters, YouTube and YouTube-like DailyMotion, which just raised a huge funding round). Universal’s statement after the jump. Bloomberg via PaidContent.
Universal Music Group statement re: Veoh lawsuit:
Veoh has engaged in the rampant infringement of the UMG’s copyrighted music as part of a strategy to become one of the Internet’s most popular and valuable “video sharing” websites, and to thereby attract advertising dollars and tens of millions of dollars of venture capital investment. In this regard, Veoh has been a success. However, a business plan that is based on theft and which deprives UMG and its artists and songwriters of compensation for their work is not one that the law endorses and will ultimately be proven to be a failed strategy.