Universal to upload lawsuits to YouTube, MySpace?

Royalties, please


The chief of the world's biggest record label, Universal Music Group, has hinted that the company will sue the video sharing site YouTube for copyright infringement.

"We believe these new businesses are copyright infringers and owe us tens of millions of dollars," UMG boss Doug Morris told a conference this week. "How we deal with these companies will be revealed shortly."

It's no secret that YouTube has been a runaway success because it's a treasure trove of copyrighted material - effectively the internet's Oldies channel.

UMG is also negotiating with News Corporation, owners of MySpace, for a cut of performance royalties on the site. MySpace vehemently denies it should pay these royalties, although its European VP justified its refusal recently on the grounds that MySpace users "... are interacting with music in the same way as they would in everyday life - in a store or on the radio".

A bit of an oops, that, as stores and radio stations need to pay public performance royalties in most parts of the world. (Radio stations in the US are an exception).

Analysts peg the UMG chief's comments as a negotiating tactic.

It's doubtful, however, whether UMG will take a one-size-fits-all legal approach to infringement. MySpace is owned by one of the world's biggest media multinationals News Corporation, and snagged almost a billion dollars from Google recently for a three-year advertising contract. However the independent start-up YouTube is more likely to plead poverty: it has only just started to scratch around for revenues to offset its astronomical operating costs. Despite the claims made by the utopian lobby, most of the traffic at YouTube is people looking for copyright material. Or people looking at other people lip-syncing to copyright material.

Not that pleading zero revenues has ever stopped UMG suing someone out of business before. Just ask Michael Robertson. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Tesla driver charged with vehicular manslaughter after deadly Autopilot crash

    Prosecution seems to be first of its kind in America

    A Tesla driver has seemingly become the first person in the US to be charged with vehicular manslaughter for a deadly crash in which the vehicle's Autopilot mode was engaged.

    According to the cops, the driver exited a highway in his Tesla Model S, ran a red light, and smashed into a Honda Civic at an intersection in Gardena, Los Angeles County, in late 2019. A man and woman in the second car were killed. The Tesla driver and a passenger survived and were taken to hospital.

    Prosecutors in California charged Kevin George Aziz Riad, 27, in October last year though details of the case are only just emerging, according to AP on Tuesday. Riad, a limousine service driver, is facing two counts of vehicular manslaughter, and is free on bail after pleading not guilty.

    Continue reading
  • AMD returns to smartphone graphics with new Samsung chip for your pocket computer

    We're back in black

    AMD's GPU technology is returning to mobile handsets with Samsung's Exynos 2200 system-on-chip, which was announced on Tuesday.

    The Exynos 2200 processor, fabricated using a 4nm process, has Armv9 CPU cores and the oddly named Xclipse GPU, which is an adaptation of AMD's RDNA 2 mainstream GPU architecture.

    AMD was in the handheld GPU market until 2009, when it sold the Imageon GPU and handheld business for $65m to Qualcomm, which turned the tech into the Adreno GPU for its Snapdragon family. AMD's Imageon processors were used in devices from Motorola, Panasonic, Palm and others making Windows Mobile handsets.

    Continue reading
  • Big shock: Guy who fled political violence and became rich in tech now struggles to care about political violence

    'I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy,' billionaire VC admits

    Billionaire tech investor and ex-Facebook senior executive Chamath Palihapitiya was publicly blasted after he said nobody really cares about the reported human rights abuse of Uyghur Muslims in China.

    The blunt comments were made during the latest episode of All-In, a podcast in which Palihapitiya chats to investors and entrepreneurs Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg about technology.

    The group were debating the Biden administration’s response to what's said to be China's crackdown of Uyghur Muslims when Palihapitiya interrupted and said: “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay? ... I’m telling you a very hard ugly truth, okay? Of all the things that I care about … yes, it is below my line.”

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022