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Updated: Please Give Me the Interwebnet Monies

In a move reminiscent of South Park's "Canada On Strike" episode in which the boys decide to upload a video onto Youtube in hopes of earning money, a popular YouTube user has decided to sue YouTube and Google for what he considers should be his profits.

The user BennyBaby, real name Ben Ligeri, is suing both of these entities for 1 million dollars. According to InformationWeek "Legeri calculates that his daily YouTube traffic of 11,200 views represents between 1/9000 and 1/500 of YouTube's 100 million views per day. Thus, he estimates that his traffic is worth between $200,000 and $3.6 million [...]".

While other users with thousands of hits each day might support Mr. Ligeri in his quest to receive profits from YouTube and Google, unfortunately most users who sign up on websites fail to actually read the Terms and Conditions that they have agreed to.

In this case, YouTube clearly states in Part 6 Section C of their Terms of Use "[...]by submitting User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website [...]" and in Part 14 of the agreement it states "You and YouTube agree that any cause of action arising out of or related to the YouTube website must commence within one (1) year after the cause of action accrues. Otherwise, such cause of action is permanently barred."

But what if the courts ignore the fact that Mr. Ligeri has forfeited his right to royalties and then ignore the fact that some of the videos he has uploaded are older than one year old? Throughout the years there have been many court cases in which someone has won when clearly they shouldn't have. In this case, it opens the door for not only the collapse of video-sharing websites like YouTube due to all users requesting money for their submissions, but it also puts all websites in which users are allowed to openly participate in jeopardy and opens the door to lawsuits for their profits.

Updated information - Mr. Ligeri has contacted me with his general statement he is sending out to websites and users who have articles related to his lawsuit. This is certainly valid to the article and gives a bit of background information directly from him which is important to not only our readers, but also Mr. Ligeri to ensure the correct information is distributed. I also want to note that after speaking with him, I as well as many others at Neowin, wish him well and lots of luck in his quest against the all-powerful, internet/world consuming Google.

My allegations in the Complaint against GooTube range from violations of The Sherman Antitrust Act (15 U.S.C. 1-7), Theft, Embezzlement, Constructive Fraud, Fraud In the Inducement, Unjust Enrichment, Deception, Bad Faith, Unfair Competition, Unfair Leverage, Restraint of Trade, and Monopilzation, violations of the CAN-SPAM Act and much more.

However, the claim that is most referenced, is the claim that I have against YouTube for their agreement to include me in the Partner Program once I reached a certain number of views and their refusal to do so or answer my inquiries upon my meeting that certain number of views.

That is called BREACH OF CONTRACT. Ask any lawyer. Except for GooTube's:)

I resent this common misguided notion in the blogs that the YouTube Terms of Use control the world and all of its inhabitants. First of all, these Terms are only invocable in allegations against YouTube arising OUT OF the Terms (and that is in the terms too), and have no bearing on other allegations against YouTube for such things as Breach of Contract, as I just mentioned. And the YOUTUBE Terms of Use have absolutely no authority on my claims against Google."

What do you think? Should websites, such as YouTube, pay royalties to people who submit videos? Should all websites pay for all content generated by members? Do websites like Youtube and Google have the right to turn down a member for payments?

Link: YouTube User BennyBaby
Link: YouTube
Link: Feel free to read the lawsuit here
Link: To Contact Ben Ligeri Click Here

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