EMI sues Hi5, VideoEgg over user-uploaded videos

Record label defends copyrights of songs from the Spice Girls, Roxette, and other pop stars of yesteryear, claiming "massive and blatant" infringement by Hi5 users.

Some people might be embarrassed if their friends found an old copy of Mr. Big's "To be with you" or Paula Abdul's "Cold hearted (snake)" stashed away in their CD collection. But not EMI. They own those songs, and they want the world to know it.

The music giant is suing social-networking site Hi5, video advertising start-up VideoEgg, and 10 unnamed defendants for allegedly infringing on the copyrights of those and hundreds of other pop throwbacks.

The lawsuit alleges that Hi5 users have uploaded and disseminated hundreds of music videos the company owns rights to. VideoEgg is on the hook because it's a former partner of Hi5, and those allegedly infringing videos were uploaded to its servers. (On May 31, VideoEgg stopped hosting videos uploaded by the public and refocused efforts on its ad network, prompting rumors that the company was on its way out.) The lawsuit doesn't say much of anything about who the 10 John Does are.

The companies had attempted to work out some kind of deal for more than a year, a source told TechCrunch, but those efforts eventually failed.

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Jennifer Guevin is managing editor at CNET, overseeing the ever-helpful How To section, special packages, and front-page programming. As a writer, she gravitates toward science, quirky geek culture stories, robots, and food. In real life, she mostly just gravitates toward food.

 

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