Well, this wasn’t totally unexpected. RedLasso, the service that let bloggers create custom video clips of local and national TV and radio programming was sued by NBC Universal, Fox News Network and Fox Television Stations Inc. for copyright violations on Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal. The networks say RedLasso wasn’t licensed or authorized to reproduce copies of their content.
While we liked the idea of the service, we were counting down the minutes until this copyright time bomb exploded. Here’s a quick history of events:
- In November, the company said it was hard at work making friends and “finalizing agreements” with content providers. The company said it would wait before making the service public in order to hammer out deals.
- At the beginning of May we noted RedLasso’s insanely high user-to-unique ratio, and the company said it was on good terms with broadcasters and expected deals soon — but still had no agreements in place.
- Then later in May, RedLasso received cease-and-desist letter from NBC, CBS and FOX asking the company to stop infringing its copyright.
- The company responded to that letter by saying it would continue to operate its service, and brought on former CBS Chief Cxecutive Michael Jordan to smooth things over with the networks.
- In June the company brought on former Viacom and Paramount execs to form a media advisory board and serve as liaisons with media companies.
The Wall Street Journal writes:
The lawsuit claims Redlasso, of King of Prussia, Pa., operates “listening posts” in major media markets, which it uses to record or make copies or the networks’ programming and content 24 hours a day.
RedLasso had raised $9.4 million from Anthem Capital, Osage Ventures, Guggenheim Opportunities Investors and angels and was trying to raise an additional $15 million. That might be a little more difficult now.