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Fullscreen to Purge Unlicensed Music Videos from YouTube Under Legal Settlement

Multichannel network will compensate music publishers under deal with industry org

Fullscreen, one of the top YouTube multichannel network companies, reached a deal with the National Music Publishers’ Assn. to settle copyright-infringement claims related to videos of song covers distributed by its affiliated creators.

Under the NMPA deal, Fullscreen will delete videos containing unlicensed music that appear on Fullscreen-managed channels. Meanwhile, Fullscreen-affiliated channels with videos containing music will be licensed under YouTube’s direct licenses with music publishers.

SEE ALSO: YouTube Copyright Crackdown Hits Multichannel Network Affiliates

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but NMPA said the settlement will let music publishers that opt into the agreement to be compensated by Fullscreen for use of their works. The NMPA sued Fullscreen in August 2013, alleging content creators had uploaded “unlicensed musical works” to YouTube.

On another front, YouTube recently activated the Content ID copyright-scanning system on MCN-affiliated channels, letting content owners flag material they believe to be infringing. That change led to a spate of takedown notices last month.

The NMPA last summer reached a similar licensing agreement with Maker Studios, another major YouTube MCN, to compensate songwriters for “past infringement” and to provide a licensing framework for Maker going forward.

“As the digital marketplace continues to evolve, music publishing rights must be recognized and built into future business models, and we applaud Fullscreen for working with us to recognize the contribution of songwriters,” NMPA president and CEO David Israelite said.

Fullscreen founder and CEO George Strompolos added, “We commend the NMPA for their proactiveness and helping to clear the way for us to establish new relationships with music publishers.”

Separately, in February 2013, Fullscreen announced a licensing pact with Universal Music Publishing Group granting permission to the MCN’s partners to use hundreds of thousands of songs, according to the company.

Fullscreen’s YouTube channels receive more than 30 million unique viewers each month. The company’s backers include Comcast, Chernin Group and ad agency WPP.

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