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Vimeo Sued For Audio Infringement 85

USS_Natas writes "Capitol Records and other labels have sued Vimeo in federal court, charging that the site's emphasis on 'original works' only extends to videos, and that songs are widely used on Vimeo without a license. The plaintiffs hope to prove that Vimeo staffers know about the infringement, since they've been doing it themselves." NewTeeVee has a PDF of the court filing in a Scribd frame.
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Vimeo Sued For Audio Infringement

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  • by jo42 ( 227475 ) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @04:33PM (#30500410) Homepage

    1) Get a patent/copyright/trademark on passing matter in gaseous form through a sphincter.
    2) Sue anyone or anything that farts.
    3) Profit !$$$!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19, 2009 @05:03PM (#30500526)

    While IMO they do have a point (well apart from live concert footage), however I don't see what they want to achieve nobody watches a lip dub on vimeo instead of buying the actual record. So while they will almost certainly win the case, they won't actually win anything and will lose out on free marketing.

    preemptive pro-tip, if your going to use the term fair-use [wikipedia.org] please understand what it means first.

  • Seriously true... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheModelEskimo ( 968202 ) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @05:08PM (#30500546)
    Typical Vimeo user profile: "30-something Caucasian with a HUGE iTunes library, prosumer camera gear and/or a copy of Processing, with a penchant for shallow-depth-of-field effects."

    There's non-fair-use copyright-infringement all over the place on that site, and it's absolutely weird that nobody at Vimeo HQ has even batted an eyelash. Really, it's that bad. (I'm a big fan of CC myself, and I think that if people would just stop using RIAA tunes to enhance their own creative works, the problem would solve itself)
  • The Real Reason... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bedroll ( 806612 ) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @05:16PM (#30500570) Journal

    I don't find the lawsuit itself particularly interesting. From the sound of it, I believe Capitol will win on at least one count of copyright infringement. The video itself obviously infringes, though I don't see how it does any damage to Capitol's property. Still, their hook is compelling from a legal point of view. Check out this excerpt from NewTeeVee:

    The difference, according to Capitol, is that not only has Vimeo not tried very hard to protect copyright owners, but it actively encourages infringement. Capitol alleges that Vimeo’s use of copyrighted material is “not an accident,” claiming that the web site contains “a massive amount of content that features, and draws most (if not all) of its appeal from, the use of copyrighted works.” As a result, according to the complaint, Vimeo is not only aware of copyright infringement happening on its system, but “actively promotes and induces that infringement.”

    What's interesting about this is that Vimeo's appeal is the high quality of its unique, user generated content. Just like in the video, the compelling element is not the song but they way in which their employees are lip syncing. I would go so far as to say that it's more interesting than the original video, though I haven't seen that in a decade. Vimeo is one of the user generated content sites that is relatively free from blatant copying. Perhaps copyrighted works are used as background music for these videos, but they are rarely, if ever, the central focus.

    That's why Vimeo is being sued. Not because their site is rife with copyright infringement. Not because their site encourages infringement over unique content. Specifically because the community at their site has flourished into one that consistently puts out unique user generated content of high quality. Vimeo is like YouTube with the noise turned down. This scares the pants off the content industry.

    As the trend towards Internet Television strengthens the monopolies of the content industry weaken. Quality user generated content is a direct competitor to professionally generated content. The content industry has a long history of using the legal system to ensure that they squash the competition. That's what they're doing here.

    I feel bad for Vimeo. They made an innocent video to show what a fun-loving bunch of wacky kids they are at their little Web 2.0 start up. They probably thought that like other various mashups and non-malicious infringements that their video would either fly under the radar or become a success such that the content owner would appreciate the attention drawn to their work and see the positive aspects of it. What they didn't realize is that they've become the nemesis of big business. Big business does not treat its adversaries well.

  • by Mathinker ( 909784 ) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @07:22PM (#30501064) Journal

    TFA makes the point that the record companies already lost a similar suit against Veoh, when Veoh claimed safe harbor under the DMCA. The only reason Vimeo would not be similarly protected is if the labels can show that Vimeo is actively encouraging the infringements of their copyrighted works.

    So even if it is clear that lots of Vimeo videos use unlicensed music owned by the labels, it is not clear that the suit is valid.

  • by Mathinker ( 909784 ) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @07:30PM (#30501106) Journal

    The MPAA have nothing to do with this litigation, since the video content in question are original works ("lip dubs").

    Even if the MPAA were involved, they would have little trouble cooperating with RIAA. If someone were to post a clip of MPAA video redubbed with new RIAA audio, both organizations could sue independently. In other words, there would be no need for them to cooperate in the first place.

    You are greatly confused, but I found your post highly imaginative (and terrifically wishful thinking)...

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Saturday December 19, 2009 @08:38PM (#30501420) Journal

    it is not clear that the suit is valid.

    They don't care if the suit is valid. They just want to cost Vimeo money so the next guy or company who wants to do something perfectly legal will be afraid.

    I really don't think "valid" is a requirement for a record company lawsuit.

  • by canajin56 ( 660655 ) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @09:40PM (#30501650)

    Exceptions: independent production companies, authors, musicians, non profits, churches, artists, and actors may show or promote the work they have created.

    Musicians can use the site to advertise their CD. Movie makers can post their trailers. Artists can post samples of their work. Authors can talk about their new books. BUT FUCK INDY GAME DEVELOPERS, THEY AND THEY ALONE DON'T COUNT.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?