Universal sues video-sharing websites

Universal Music, the world's largest record company, has launched the established media industry's first legal action against user-generated internet sites in the wake of its distribution deal last week with YouTube, the most popular video-sharing website.

In separate lawsuits, Universal alleged that Grouper.com – recently acquired by Sony Pictures Entertainment – and Bolt.com had built up traffic by encouraging users to share music videos from its artists without their permission. In one incident, it claimed a video for the Mariah Carey song "Shake it Off" was viewed more than 50,000 times on Grouper without the company's permission.

User-generated sites have exploded in popularity in recent months by allowing users to share video clips online. Last week, Google confirmed the sector's appeal when it agreed to buy YouTube for $1.65bn.

News source: Financial Times

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