Do Universal Music and Google have a backroom YouTube deal?

Dec 16, 2011
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This may be one of the most bizarre things I have read about YouTube and Google. Granted you need a giant grain of salt with this, but if the implication is true, this is wrong on so many levels. Universal Music has been trying to kill pirates of its own artists' work and stop piracy in general and has taken to some extremes in the fight. For instance, it has been trying to kill MegaUpload using censorship in the US for a while.

Some musicians got together and recorded Mega Song in support of MegaUpload and Universal Music has been trying to force YouTube to remove its video for a while. The catch is that Universal doesn't own the copyright to Mega Song. A new court filing from Universal that hints it has a deal with YouTube that allows it to request the takedown of anything it doesn't like on the video service. The key paragraph in the filing reads:

Your letter could be read to suggest that UMG's rights to use the YouTube "Content Management System" with respect to certain user-posted videos are limited to instances in which UMG asserts a claim that a user-posted video contains material that infringes a UMG copyright. As you know, UMG's rights in this regard are not limited to copyright infringement, as set forth more completely in the March 31, 2009 Video License Agreement for UGC Video Service Providers, including without limitation Paragraphs 1(b) and 1(g) thereof.

What exactly those paragraphs 1(b) and 1(g) say are unknown, but the clear indication is that those paragraphs give Universal the right to request takedowns of content they do not have copyright to. The implications if Google agreed to this sort of deal are very disturbing. What do you think?

[via BoingBoing]


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