Universal Music sues video sharing sites

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Universal Music sues video sharing sites

YouTube safe, but Gouper and Bolt under pressure.

Universal Music is taking legal action against two video sharing sites, just weeks after burying the copyright hatchet with YouTube. 

Video sites Bolt and Grouper are being targeted by Universal for allegedly infringing the copyright of its artists, including Bon Jovi, Eminem, Jamie Cullum and U2. Universal is claiming up to US$150,000 for each incident of infringement. 

"Grouper and Bolt cannot reasonably expect to build their businesses on the back of our content and the hard work of our artists and songwriters without permission and without compensating the content creators," a Universal spokesman told Reuters. 

Jay Gould, one of the owners of Bolt, asked users in a message on the site not to upload videos that infringe Universal's copyright. 

"We have been notified today that Universal Music has filed a lawsuit against Bolt because our members upload videos which may contain their musicians' copyrighted videos," he wrote.

"We understand the love you have for your favourite artists, but Bolt respects the rights of copyright owners such as Universal Music and their artists, and we ask that you please do so as well by not uploading their videos to Bolt.

"You can still watch your favourite music videos by visiting your favourite bands' websites. Bear with us - we hope to sort this out soon."

YouTube, which was purchased by Google last week for US$1.6 billion, has signed agreements with many music publishers including Universal, Sony BMG and Warner Music.
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