Universal sues video-sharing websites

Mark Cuban was right on the money. And so it begins…

Universal Music has commenced legal proceedings against video-sharing sites Grouper.com and Bolt.com, claiming copyright infringement.

In separate lawsuits, Universal alleged that Grouper and Bolt had built up traffic by encouraging users to share music videos from its artists without their permission.

Universal had previously reached a settlement with YouTube, who agreed to pay a small licensing fee and revenue share on advertising. Am wondering if Universal’s lawyers are kicking themselves on that one, now that YouTube’s pocket’s have gotten that much deeper.

This really was to be expected, but I can’t see how there can possibly be a solution, or at least the kind of solution Universal seems to be looking for. The Internet was created to circumvent control of and guarantee access to information. This whole participatory era / Web 2.0 thing has brought us to the point that anyone with access to a computer can contribute (for good or bad) something.

Short of setting up a Big Brother-style system of manually vetting each and every file published (ask the lads at Google Video how onerous that is), the only alternative I can see is to establish some kind of mandatory revenue-sharing agreement with content owners who can convince a judge they’re being ripped off.

Oh… ok now I get it.

Ps. While looking for that 1984 clip, I found this little gem. Ridley Scott cashing in on his post-Blade Runner notoriety and reaping $1.5m for the Macintosh launch commercial – played just once, during Superbowl XVIII.

The 80’s were so awesome.


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