The National Music Publishers Association has decided at long last to dismiss its copyright infringement lawsuit with YouTube and its parent company Google. The music publishers decided to give into the reality that having its artists get paid was far better than continuing litigation with mounting attorney fees.
The group sent out a news release in which it stated:
As a result of this resolution, music publishers will have the opportunity to enter into a License Agreement with YouTube and receive royalties from YouTube for musical works in videos posted on the site…[t]he license opportunity will enable music publishers to grant the rights necessary for the synchronization of their musical works with videos posted by YouTube users and to receive royalties from YouTube for user-generated videos for which YouTube receives advertising revenue worldwide.
An essential element in this settlement was the entry of The Harry Fox Agency, which will track and administer royalty statements for the music publishers, notwithstanding any of the publisher’s prior affiliations. While some analysts see the resolution of this dispute as evidence of how YouTube in praise worthy fashion has worked to clear away litigation, others have their doubts, especially about Google-related technology concerns that underlie this deal.
And not all is fine and dandy for YouTube now since this class-action lawsuit is separate from legal moves by Viacom; courts had heard the music publishers’ and Viacom’s cases simultaneously and the media giant’s presence in court, some said, had lent weight to legal actions — and given it a costly and backwards looking corporate strategy, since its litigation focuses on matters now years old.
In The Football Association Premier League Limited et al. v. You Tube Inc., the NMPA and other music publishers in 2007 asserted that YouTube engaged in copyright infringement via unauthorized uses of the publishers’ copyrighted musical works. YouTube’s motion for summary judgment was upheld; the music publishers appealed this judgment, which was pending in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals until last week. That’s when the music publisher’s voluntarily dismissed the case, settling with YouTube and Google.