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Red Lasso closes video search after being sued

Company that indexed video clips from TV shows shuts down search engine two days after NBC Universal and Fox filed a copyright suit against the company.

RedLasso has suspended access to its video search-and-clipping site two days after NBC Universal and Fox filed a copyright suit against the company.

File this one under inevitable.

RedLasso, which announced the closure in a statement on Friday, recorded TV shows and then indexed clips so users could find, pull, and embed them on other Web sites. They did so without permission. The company had suggested that it was in talks to obtain licenses. RedLasso will keep operating its Radio To Web service, which allows radio stations to search and upload their content to their own Web site.

In May, NBC Universal flatly denied that it had any affiliation with RedLasso when the entertainment company sent a letter accusing RedLasso of "building a business based on the unauthorized syndication of" the content owners' shows.

The era of companies following in YouTube's shoes is over. No more are the studios going to sit back and allow tech start-ups to use their content to grab eyeballs and then negotiate terms later.

Not when they are giving their content away free, at sites like Hulu, the video site created by NBC Universal and News Corp. Anyone can go to Hulu and grab embed code for feature films and many NBC Universal shows without violating the law.

"We are very disappointed in the actions of select networks," RedLasso said in a statement. "We believe we have always acted within the law and have been respectful of the networks' rights. Unfortunately, they have forced our hand."