×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Appellate Court Clears Veoh in UMG Copyright Suit

A federal appellate court said that Veoh Networks is not liable for copyright infringement on its site despite Universal Music Group’s claim that the video-sharing service was aware that users were frequently posting pirated music on the platform.

The decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals bolsters protections for sites that host user-generated content, even as record labels and movie studios lament that the operators are merely looking the other way and even profiting from infringing content. A three judge panel upheld an earlier decision by U.S. District Judge Howard Matz that granted Veoh summary judgment.

In an opinion written by Judge Raymond C. Fisher, the appellate court said that Veoh fell within the “safe harbor” of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects sites and Internet providers from infringement liability for the “storage” of user generated content, as long as a series of guidelines are met. They include not having “actual knowledge” that the stored material is infringing and, when informed that it is, acting fast to remove it.  It also requires that sites not receive a financial benefit directly derived from the infringing material if they have the ability to control it.

Fisher wrote that “merely hosting a category of copyrightable content, such as music videos, with the general knowledge that one’s services could be used to share infringing material, is insufficient” to claim that the site owners had “actual knowledge.” He also wrote that Veoh fell short of having the “substantial influence” over its users as to lose its immunity from infringement liability.

Although Veoh had the ability to remove material and did implement filtering systems, Fisher wrote, it did not rise to the level of a site’s “substantial influence on the activities of users” that the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals last year said was a threshold for determining liability.

Last year, the 2nd Circuit determined that a jury should decide whether YouTube had such a “right and ability to control” its users so as to be liable to Viacom for infringing content. The litigation in Viacom’s $1 billion suit is ongoing.

Representing Veoh was Winston & Strawn’s Michael Elkin, who noted in a statement that “UMG’s attempt to send the case back to trial failed, even though the 9th Circuit adopted the more stringent standards set out by the 2nd Circuit in Viacom vs. YouTube.”

The 9th Circuit also sent back to Matz the question of whether Veoh is entitled to attorney’s fees.

More Music

  • Juice Wrld’s Mother Gives Statement: ‘Addiction

    Juice Wrld’s Mother Gives Statement: ‘Addiction Knows No Boundaries’

    In the first statement from Juice Wrld’s family after the rapper died on Sunday, his mother, Carmella Wallace, spoke of his struggles with addiction, which he addressed in many of his songs. “We loved Jarad with all of our hearts and cannot believe our time with him has been cut short,” she said to TMZ. [...]

  • Harry Styles Fine Line Album

    Harry Styles' 'Fine Line': Album Review

    Harry Styles has chosen to use his superpowers for good and not evil. These powers were vested in him by the superstar status of One Direction, which with each passing month sets new records for longest hiatus ever, even as its members meander in multiple directions. The most satisfying of these detours has been Styles’ [...]

  • K-pop singer Goo Ha-ra Suicide

    String of Suicides Highlights the Pressures on Young Entertainers in South Korea

    Less than two weeks after 28-year-old K-pop singer Goo Ha-ra — known professionally as Hara — was found dead in her home on Nov. 24 in a suspected suicide, South Korean pop star Kang Daniel posted a series of troubling messages on his fan portal. “Someone please save me,” he wrote on Dec. 3. “Everything [...]

  • Grammy Awards 60th Annual Grammy Awards,

    Recording Academy Reveals Its Diversity Task Force Report, With Strong Calls for Reform

    Anyone wondering what the Recording Academy’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion has been doing for the past 18 months got their answer this morning in the form of the organization’s strongly worded, 47-page-long Final Report, which is now available on the Academy’s website. As its name states, the Task Force, helmed by former first [...]

  • Jay-Z

    Tidal Gets Dolby Atmos Music, Jay-Z to Release Catalog in Immersive Audio Format

    Music streaming service Tidal has partnered with Dolby to bring Dolby Atmos Music tracks to its Tidal HiFi tier. This makes Tidal the second music service to support the high-end format. For now, support is limited to certain Android devices. Consumers may know Dolby Atmos as a surround-sound audio format for movies, which is being [...]

  • Hipgnosis Songs Acquires Catalog From Jack

    Hipgnosis Songs Acquires Catalog From Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey Cowriter Jack Antonoff

    Hipgnosis Songs has acquired its fourth music catalog of the month, this one from prolific songwriter, producer and artist Jack Antonoff. He is frontman of Bleachers, a founding member of Fun. and has collaborated extensively with Taylor Swift, Lana Del Ray, Lorde, Pink, St Vincent and many others. While terms of the deal were not [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER leopard seal

    Seal's Kids Had No Idea He Was Competing on 'The Masked Singer'

    “The Masked Singer” is television’s top secret. The reality competition show goes to great lengths to keep the identities of the celebrity characters under wraps for the audience. In fact, the crew, director, cameramen, judges and even host Nick Cannon are left totally clueless about who is under the mask, just like the viewers. Turns [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content