This one will come to haunt UMG CEO: The biggest music label Universal Music Group is stepping up pressure against YouTube and MySpace, accusing them of infringing the copyrights of its artists’ music videos, the first time it has come out so strong against these social media sites, at least in a public forum.
The remarks come right after the MTV did a broad mobile content deal with UMG, allowing them to use music videos in all mobile forums across all MTV Network mobile platforms.
Universal CEO Doug Morris described these sites as “copyright infringers” during a Merrill Lynch investors’ conference speech on Tuesday . “The poster child for (user-generated media) sites are MySpace and YouTube,” said Morris, according to a transcript obtained by Reuters. “We believe these new businesses are copyright infringers and owe us tens of millions of dollars….How we deal with these companies will be revealed shortly.”
ML analyst Jessica Reif Cohen, in a note said: “His remarks strongly suggested the company was planning to take legal action in the near-term to either prevent the illegal use of their content on these websites or to ensure the company is compensated for the use of its content. This could be the first salvo from a content player against business models based on user-generated content, much of which relies on copyrighted material.”
The full company presentation is in Vivendi’s SEC filings….here. Two charts below is some numbers on its digital revenues and indicates why it is getting serious on the crackdown: