The National Music Publishers Association and individual music-publishing companies such as the Harry Fox Agency joined a class action lawsuit filed by The Football Association Premier League among others in 2007 against YouTube/Google for allegedly encouraging users to upload pirated video clips of TV shows, films, and music videos – but this legal dispute has finally come to a close.
This action was filed soon after the Viacom case and so for efficiency the two were reviewed simultaneously by the court – with Google triumphing against Viacom thanks in large part to the safe harbour provisions in the DMCA. With this agreement, 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 – although the terms have not been publicly disclosed.
This agreement, along with the others penned over recent years have allowed Google and Youtube to step away from their “infringing” past. Indeed, with Youtube’s filter system – the site is believed to be pretty much clean by tv, film, and music executives – certainly in comparison with some of their competitors. Google’s olive branch to music labels with the jointly owned Vevo video service for music videos doesn’t hurt their image with the creative industries either.
Whilst some such as Robert Levine are intent on pushing the argument that Google is trying to profit off the back of the tv, film, and music industries as they were unprepared for the change the internet has forced – their constant commitment to finding compromises with those very same industries shows them in a different light. Google may not stick to their “do no evil” mantra on every front these days, but they certainly don’t appears to be out to screw those creating the content they make money indexing and advertising against either.