Blog Post

Bolt.com Sold To GoFish For $30 Million; Settlement With UMG; Will Pay “Several Million Dollars”

In a multi-layered developing story, Universal Music Group is hashing out the final details of a settlement with youth site Bolt.com, after filing a lawsuit last year in October, reports NYT. The company, in an effort to bring up money for this, has sold itself to video search and aggregation site GoFish, for about $30 million in stock (GoFish is traded on OTC board).
UMG sued video sharing sites Grouper and Bolt.com for allowing users to swap pirated versions of its musicians’ videos, and sought damages of as much as $150K for each incident of copyright infringement, plus costs.
As part of the deal, Bolt has agreed to admit that the uploads were a violation of Universal’s copyrights and to pay a settlement valued at several million dollars, said Aaron Cohen, Bolt’s CEO, in the story. Bolt will also agree to pay royalties in the future any time its users submit videos that contain UMG…it wil use technology to identify the uploads. The settlement could be concluded as soon as this week. Bolt is also negotiating similar royalty arrangements with other music labels, including Warner Music Group.
UMG is hoping this will set precedents for others like Grouper/Sony as well as MySpace and other video sharing sites to settle…and possibly put some other smaller video sharing players out of business.
GoFish went public in a reverse merger in Fall last year…it also appointed Peter Guber, former CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, as one of its directors last year. Bolt.com start in Silicon Alley back in 1996, as a community site for teens, but repositioned itself over the last year or so a video sharing and social networking site. It had 5.3 million users in December in U.S. according to ComScore. NYT story says it had revenues of $7 million last year.
Related:
Video Search and Sharing Site GoFish Goes Public On OTC Via Reverse Merger
Universal Music Sues Grouper and Bolt.com; $150K Per Infringement
UMG Sues MySpace Claiming Copyright Infringement: News Corp. Unit Says In Compliance
Bolt Buys Two Video Sites