YouTube Facilitation of Copyright Piracy Class Action

The first lines in the complaint for this class action are, “This case is about copyright piracy. YouTube, the largest video-sharing website in the world, is replete with videos infringing on the rights of copyright holders.” The complaint names YouTube, LLC, Google, LLC, and parent company Alphabet, Inc. as defendants.

The complaint alleges, “YouTube has facilitated and induced this hotbed of copyright infringement through its development and implementation of a copyright enforcement system that protects only the most powerful copyright owners such as major studios and record labels.”

These large content owners can use a tool called Content ID that “compares videos being uploaded on YouTube to a catalog of copyrighted material submitted by those entities permitted to utilize Content ID.” Unfortunately, this tool is not available to ordinary users.

Ordinary creators must use manual means to locate illegal postings of their works, only after they are posted, and then file individual takedown notices with YouTube. According to the complaint, YouTube also limits the number of takedown notices they will process for individual users.

The complaint alleges that this system is “deliberate and designed and designed to maximize YouTube’s … focused but reckless drive for user volume and advertising revenue.” The complaint claims that the companies now earn $15 billion in advertising revenues from advertising and additional money from the personal data it collects on users.

The complaint alleges that the site facilitates the piracy, allowing quick uploading of materials “with no prepublication diligence” as to whether the work belongs to the posters or not. According to the complaint, Google does not even use anti-piracy tools it previously used elsewhere to avoid infringement.

The complaint alleges that the companies are responsible for the copyright infringement that takes place on YouTube because they are not entitled to any of the safe harbors provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Two classes have been proposed for this action.

The first is all persons holding the exclusive right to publicly perform, reproduce, publicly display, or distribute film, audiovisual, or musical works over the internet for works first going into the public domain after December 31, 1977 whose copyrighted works have been uploaded to YouTube within the relevant statute of limitations, whether the upload is the works in their entirety or only a portion of them, where the person has had to submit a successful takedown notice and where the work has been infringed or uploaded again without permission, and where the person has not benefitted from the YouTube Content ID program.

The second is all persons holding the exclusive right to publicly perform, reproduce, publicly display, or distribute film, audiovisual, or musical works over the internet for works first published after 1976, whose works have been uploaded to YouTube without the associated copyright management information within the relevant statutes of limitations.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Copyright or Other Intellectual Property

Most Recent Case Event

YouTube Facilitation of Copyright Piracy Complaint

July 2, 2020

The first lines in the complaint for this class action are, “This case is about copyright piracy. YouTube, the largest video-sharing website in the world, is replete with videos infringing on the rights of copyright holders.” The complaint names YouTube, LLC, Google, LLC, and parent company Alphabet, Inc. as defendants.

YouTube Facilitation of Copyright Piracy Complaint

Case Event History

YouTube Facilitation of Copyright Piracy Complaint

July 2, 2020

The first lines in the complaint for this class action are, “This case is about copyright piracy. YouTube, the largest video-sharing website in the world, is replete with videos infringing on the rights of copyright holders.” The complaint names YouTube, LLC, Google, LLC, and parent company Alphabet, Inc. as defendants.

YouTube Facilitation of Copyright Piracy Complaint
Tags: Copyright Infringement