×
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

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

  • Facebook's 'Red Table Talk' Garners Daytime

    Facebook's 'Red Table Talk' Garners Daytime Emmy Nomination

    Facebook is now in the awards hunt: Its popular original series “Red Table Talk” hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith was nominated for a 2019 Daytime Emmy. It appears to be the first-ever Daytime Emmy Awards nomination for a Facebook-funded show, although a company rep was unable to confirm that. “Red Table Talk” is nominated in [...]

  • MLB-TV

    MLB.TV Joins Lineup on Amazon's Prime Video Channels

    Amazon has launched MLB.TV on Prime Video Channels for Prime members in the U.S., just in time for the start of Major League Baseball’s 2019 regular season start next week. The MLB.TV package provides regular-season out-of-market baseball games, both live and on-demand. Prime members in the U.S. can subscribe to MLB.TV for $24.99 per month, [...]

  • Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid

    Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid First Earnings Report

    Proving that good is not always good enough, Tencent Music Entertainment shares fell 9 percent after the Chinese company released its 2018 earnings, wiping out $2.7 billion in market capitalization of what is arguably the biggest audio music service in the world. Chalk it up to big expectations and a short track record: Wednesday’s earnings [...]

  • PewDiePie - YouTube

    PewDiePie vs. T-Series: YouTube Channels Keep Battling for No. 1 Spot

    UPDATED, 3/21: The back-and-forth battle for YouTube’s No. 1 spot continues. T-Series on Thursday again pulled ahead of YouTube’s PewDiePie as the No. 1 most-subscribed channel on the platform — coming a day after T-Series briefly topped the vlogger-gamer-comedian and renewing fans’ support him. In a months-long symbolic running battle for the title, PewDiePie and his [...]

  • Netflix to Test Special Video Previews

    Netflix Will Test Character-Driven Video Previews for Its Kids Content

    Netflix is getting ready to try a new thing to help younger viewers discover new shows: The video service will start testing character-driven video previews of some of its shows later this year, executives revealed during a press event in Los Angeles Tuesday. The test, which will be rolled out on some members’ TV devices [...]

  • Epic Games Unveils $100 Million 'MegaGrants'

    Epic Games Unveils $100 Million 'MegaGrants' for Film, Game, Other Creators

    Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney kicked off the company’s annual Game Developers Conference keynote with some big news for creators: a commitment to hand out $100 million to game makers, film and TV creators, students, educators, tool developers, essentially anyone working to enhance 3D graphics and inspire creativity. The Epic MegaGrants is an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content