Friday, May 04, 2007

YouTube Sued Over Soccer Clips

Looks like the English Premier League is now suing YouTube over the posting of unauthorized clips, having filed suit today in the Southern District of New York. I have yet to find a copy of the complaint online, but all the reports cite the complaint as accusing YouTube of encouraging massive copyright infringement, resulting in the loss of valuable content. One report even says that the League will pursue class action certification "on behalf of themselves and 'thousands of others' whose copyrighted works have allegedly appeared on YouTube.com without permission."

The league reportedly has a billion plus broadcasting deal with Sky, a deal with foreign broadcasters for 320 million, and has been active going after sites that offer video of league matches in violation of mandated blackout periods intended to increase attendance at games.

While this appears to be an attempt, just like the Viacom suit, to avoid the DMCA issue of whether YouTube qualifies for a safe harbor, it's worth pointing out that the international aspect of this case will raise some interesting questions. The DMCA doesn't apply in England, so if the videos are uploaded there, YouTube's liability would depend on the law in England. Even worse, if the videos are uploaded in the US, but are accessible in England, YouTube might be subject to English law for when those videos are viewed there. I am unfamiliar with any cases dealing with 512(c) and extraterritorial copyright claims, so this should sure be interesting to see how this plays out.

More to come for sure once I find a copy of the complaint.
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