YouTube, music publishers settle copyright beef

A group of publishers that were once part of a class action copyright suit against YouTube have settled the case, the parties announced.

A group of music publishers that joined a class action lawsuit filed against YouTube in 2007 have reached a settlement with Google's video-sharing site.

David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publishers Association, in a photo taken earlier this summer Greg Sandoval

The National Music Publishers Association as well as individual music-publishing companies, such as Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, the Harry Fox Agency, and Murbo Music Publishing, joined a class action lawsuit filed against Google by The Football Association Premier League among others.

The suit--which accused YouTube of encouraging users to upload pirated video clips of TV shows, films, and music videos--was filed shortly after Viacom filed a copyright complaint against YouTube and Google. For efficiency, Viacom and the class action were reviewed by the court simultaneously even though they were separate complaints.

"As a result of this resolution," the publishers wrote in a statement, "music publishers will have the opportunity to enter into a license agreement with YouTube and receive royalties from YouTube for musical works in videos posted on the site."

Thanks to the agreement, music publishers can license Google the right to sync their music with videos posted by YouTube users and YouTube will pay the royalties. The parties involved didn't disclose the complete terms of the agreement.

That's nice but what's important here is that YouTube executives continue to put their copyright troubles behind them. The Web's top video-sharing service was once packed with pirated content but the service built a filter system and now most of the top film studios and TV networks consider the site to be swept clean.

Related links
• Google defeats Viacom in landmark copyright case
• YouTube launches a music video discovery page
• iTunes song-sample plan runs into music publishers

Google has also penned content-licensing deals with the top music labels to offer music on the site and YouTube also has agreements in place with major Hollywood and independent film studios to offer streaming rentals.

"We already have deals in place with a number of music publishers in the U.S. and around the world," YouTube said in a blog post. "Today's deal offers more choice for rights holders in how they manage use of their songs."

YouTube triumphed in the first round of the Viacom copyright case as well as the class action suit last year when a U.S. district court in New York ruled that YouTube was "protected by the safe harbor of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) against claims of copyright infringement."

Viacom's case only involves YouTube's actions prior to 2008. The media conglomerate and the parties belonging to the class appealed the ruling.

 

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