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Music publishers sue YouTube-channel startup Fullscreen

One big multichannel network on YouTube faces a suit from the National Music Publishers' Association, while the publishers' organization settles with another.

An organization devoted to protecting the copyrights of music publishers is suing one of YouTube's big so-called "multichannel networks," while reaching a settlement with another.

The National Music Publishers' Association said in a release that is has filed a copyright-infringement suit against Fullscreen, a startup that helps YouTube video creators make money from their clips. It claimed the company is illegally profiting from advertising revenue generated by unlicensed music videos on their channels.

A Fullscreen representative declined to comment.

Multichannel networks like Fullscreen aren't related to or endorsed by Google or its highly popular video site. They often affiliate with multiple YouTube channels to help them with digital rights management, making money on their videos, increasing viewership, and myriad other services.

The association said it also reached a settlement in principle with another multichannel network --Maker Studios -- regarding similar copyright issues.

A couple of years ago, the NMPA, along with individual music-publishing companies, reached an agreement with YouTube in a class-action suit that accused YouTube of encouraging users to upload pirated video clips of TV shows, films, and music videos. As a result, music publishers could license Google the right to sync their music with videos posted by YouTube users and YouTube would pay the royalties.

That helped make YouTube one of the most popular destinations for online music, but the practice hasn't extended to the likes of multichannel networks.