×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jukin Media, Equals Three Settle YouTube Viral-Video Copyright Lawsuit

Jury found Ray William Johnson-owned channel's use of clips were illegal

Viral-video aggregator Jukin Media settled its copyright-infringement lawsuit against Ray William Johnson’s Equals Three Studios, after a jury in the case found Equals Three had misappropriated Jukin’s YouTube clips.

The central issue in the case: whether or not Equals Three’s use of Jukin-represented videos without obtaining a license was covered under U.S. copyright law’s “fair use” provision.

After Jukin had submitted YouTube takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for several Equals Three videos, Equals Three in November 2014 sued Jukin, arguing that the material in question was covered under fair use. Last October, a federal judge ruled in favor of Equals Three for all but one of the contested Jukin videos, finding that most were “transformative.”

However, Jukin subsequently appealed for a ruling on which videos at issue were in fact transformative, given that the judge had not entered a summary judgment in Equals Three’s favor. The case went to trial this week, and after hearing evidence the jury found that Equals Three did not have fair-use rights to any of the 48 videos Jukin had alleged were infringed.

Terms of the settlement between the parties, announced Friday, were not disclosed. The agreement “lays the groundwork for a collaborative business relationship in the future,” Jukin and Equals Three said in a joint statement.

“For us, this case was about standing up for our video owners,” Jukin Media founder and CEO Jonathan Skogmo said in a statement. “If a video that we represent is used commercially in a way that doesn’t look like fair use, we’ll be vigilant about taking action.”

He added, “We hold no ill will toward Ray, we’re pleased to put the dispute behind us, and we look forward to working with Ray and Equals Three in the near future.”

Ray William Johnson said in a statement: “From my perspective, this case was a fight to protect the First Amendment rights of me and other creators like myself. At the end of it all, Jon and I came up with a solution that would allow me to continue to exercise my rights and would benefit both my business and his… After all is said and done, I think both of us came out of the dispute in a better position than we went in, which is more than we could’ve asked for.”

The case, “Equals Three, LLC. v. Jukin Media, Inc. et al,” was heard in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Pictured above: an Equals Three episode from February 2013 that used Jukin-licensed clip “Burning My Hair Off.”

More Digital

  • Jingle Punks Jingle Player

    Jingle Punks at 10: How the Production Music Platform's Player Works

    Though its primary function is creative, Jingle Punks is built on a foundation of technology and administration. The patented Jingle Player that lets customers search for music using pop culture terms is both intuitive and efficient. Typing in “Reservoir Dogs” or “Starbucks” generates suggestions. Queries are monitored “so if there isn’t an exact match, we’ll suggest [...]

  • Jill Goldfarb - Jukin Media

    Jukin Hires TV Veteran Jill Goldfarb as VP of Linear Programming

    Jukin Media, which specializes in licensing user-generated viral videos, hired Jill Goldfarb as VP of linear programming. Goldfarb’s former tours of duty include serving as Discovery Channel’s VP of programming and as VP of program planning and scheduling at ABC Family/Fox Family Channel. Most recently, for the past five years she worked as an independent [...]

  • Imax Is Exiting the VR Space,

    Imax Is Shutting Down Its VR Business, Closing Remaining Three VR Centers in Q1

    Imax is making its exit from virtual reality (VR) official: The company notified shareholders with a SEC filing Thursday that it will close down its remaining three VR centers, and write off “certain VR content investments.” A company spokesperson confirmed the planned closures and shared the following statement with Variety: “With the launch of the [...]

  • Apple Music Connect Is Being Discontinued

    Apple Music Phases Out Connect Social Feed

    Apple Music has notified artists that it will be phasing out its Connect social feed. Artists won’t be able to post to Connect anymore effective immediately, and their existing posts will be removed by next May, according to an email sent to artists that was first published by 9to5Mac Thursday. “Today we’re streamlining music discovery [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Warns Creators They May See Subscriber Count Drops Amid Spam-Account Purge

    YouTube is enacting a broad purge of spam accounts over the next two days, and it’s warning creators they could see a big drop in subscribers as a result. According to YouTube, on Dec. 13-14, creators “may see a noticeable decrease” in subscriber counts. The Google-owned video service regularly works to verify the legitimacy of [...]

  • Ninja to Call 'Thursday Night Football'

    Ninja to Call NFL 'Thursday Night Football' Game on Twitch Free Live-Stream

    Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is Twitch’s most popular live-streaming gamer. Now he’s taking his play-by-play skills to the NFL — although it remains to be seen how many of his millions of followers are actually interested in his commentary on gridiron action. This season, Amazon-owned Twitch has provided free live-streaming feeds of the NFL’s “Thursday Night [...]

  • Amazon Starts Selling Chromecast Again, YouTube

    Amazon Starts Selling Google’s Chromecast Again

    Amazon is once again selling Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter, three years after yanking the product from its website. The e-commerce giant began listing the third-generation model of Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, as well as the 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra, on its website this week. The move could be a first step toward a more comprehensive business [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content