Universal Music sues MySpace

Universal Music has sued MySpace alleging the social networking site has allowed its users to post millions of its songs and video online in violation of copyright law.

The lawsuit alleges that MySpace, encourages copyright infringement by taking proactive measures such as reformatting music to better suit Web browsers and offering means to share the material with others.

MySpace "harbors no illusions" that countless users have uploaded bootlegged videos and music to its website, the suit alleges.

The suit, which looks to be identical to the recently filed suit against Grouper and Bolt.com seeks damages of $150,000 per song or video posted to the collection of websites, and identifies 60 alleged copyright violations.

Moreover, UMG estimates there are tens of millions of songs and videos presently on MySpace pages that may infringe its copyrights.

Aside from damages, the suit also seeks an injunction to keep MySpace from distributing copyright-infringing material.

Universal keen to keep control over social networking site recently tied a deal with Google to share its music and videos on YouTube.

In October Google signed deals with Universal Music, Sony BMG, and CBS for their content to be included in YouTube users’ created content.

Universal Music’s deal means that some of its artists’ music videos and tracks will be a available to users, but that YouTube must use new technology to find and take down unauthorised content.

Universal has also managed to do a deal with Microsoft and its mp3 player, Zune.

Microsoft has agreed to pay Universal Music a fee for every Zune player sold.

The company’s did not reveal how much of the $250 price tag of the player would go to Universal, however.


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