In Reversal of Roles, Veoh Sues Universal

Veoh, the San Diego-based online video start-up, has sued Universal Music Group in federal court to reinforce its rights as a copyright compliant company under the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Veoh’s decision to sue comes after UMG threatened the video company with legal action over content that was hosted on Veoh.com and allegedly infringed UMG copyrights. This isn’t UMG’s first tussle with an online video destination, either; it has previously squared off against the likes of YouTube, MySpace , Grouper and Bolt.

Veoh’s CEO Steve Mitgang told NewTeeVee that the company had asked UMG to give them a list of the content that infringed on their copyright so that Veoh could take it down. “We are happy to comply with their requests,” he said, “but Universal threatened us with lawsuits.” UMG has been one of the most aggressive companies when it comes to protecting its content copyrights. In some cases it has been willing to negotiate, as in the case of YouTube, when it took a stack in the company just prior to it being purchased by Goole and netted about $50 million
“http://gigaom.com/2006/10/19/labels-profited-directly-from-youtube-buy/”, none of which was shared with artists, whose copyrights UMG pretends to protect.

The reason Veoh took this action is because the company wanted the courts, content owners and others to know that it is compliant with DMCA and Fair Use rules and has been working with content owners to put best practices in place, according to CEO Mitgang.

“We want constructive and reasonable relationships with content owners,” he said. Mitgang pointed out that most of the content owners understand that thanks with online video the consumer behavior is changing and is creating a new business dynamic. They are working with Veoh to craft agreements that address copyright concerns and still give video watchers what they want.

Related: Just say not to UMG

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