Premier League kicks off YouTube lawsuit

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Premier League kicks off YouTube lawsuit

UK - A class action lawsuit accusing video sharing site YouTube of copyright abuse is fast gaining support.

The action was filed on 4 May by the UK Premier League and independent music publisher Bourne Music against YouTube and its parent Google. 

The lawsuit seeks to "stop the unauthorised and uncompensated use of their creative works and those of all other similarly situated copyright holders whose works have been displayed without permission on the YouTube.com website".

Independent music publisher Cherry Lane Music, which is responsible for the catalogues of artists such as Elvis Presley, Quincy Jones and The Black Eyed Peas, the Fédération Française de Tennis and the French soccer league have all joined the list of complainants. 

The Premier League is now trying to sign up further allies through a dedicated YouTube Class Action website. 

Google said in a statement that the lawsuit "threatens the way people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment and political and artistic expression over the internet".

YouTube has said that it works actively with content owners to take down unauthorised material as soon as such material is reported.

Dan Johnson, a Premier League spokesman, said: "We are pleased to see other copyright holders joining us in what we are trying to achieve.

"They clearly recognise the need to take action against YouTube and Google to protect the value of their rights.

"The internet is increasingly important as a medium for the distribution of entertainment, sports and other content, but nothing gives YouTube the right to build its business on the hard work of others without permission and without payment.

"The technology currently being used to take and exploit copyrighted works can be just as effectively used to police and prevent unauthorised posting of creative works."

The lawsuit asks a Federal judge for a court order to force YouTube to adopt existing technology to prevent unauthorised content from being exploited, and for damages for past infringement. It does not specify a damages figure.
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