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The Courts Music News

Veoh Once Again Beats UMG (After Going Out of Business) 229

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Veoh has once again beaten the record companies; in fact it has beaten them in every round, only to have been forced out of business by the attorneys fees it expended to do so. I guess that's the record companies' strategy to do an 'end around' the clear wording of the DMCA 'safe harbor': outspend them until they fold. Back in 2009 the lower court dismissed UMG's case (PDF) on the ground that Veoh was covered by the DMCA 'safe harbor' and had complied with takedown notices. The record companies of course appealed. And they of course lost. Then, after the Viacom v. YouTube decision by the 2nd Circuit, which ruled that there were factual issues as to some of the videos, they moved for rehearing in UMG v. Veoh. Now, in a 61-page decision (PDF), the 9th Circuit has once again ruled that the statute means what it says, and rejected each and every argument the record companies made. Sadly, though, it did not award attorneys fees."
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Veoh Once Again Beats UMG (After Going Out of Business)

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  • by geekd ( 14774 ) on Saturday March 16, 2013 @11:40PM (#43194823) Homepage

    I worked for from 1999 to them folding in 2003 from UMG's (and others) lawsuit. I worked for Veoh from 2008 to 2009 when they folded from UMG's lawsuit.


    Those were the most fun jobs I've ever had. The work was challenging, the environment was fun, and my co-worker were some of the smartest people I've ever met. I had the opportunity to write code that solved problems no one had every faced before. It was awesome.

    UMG has screwed me out of 2 very fulfilling jobs.

  • Re:Sad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Saturday March 16, 2013 @11:51PM (#43194855)

    Even though Veoh is out of business the record companies lost a lot in this. Veoh may be gone but any attempt to treat someone else this way will cause severe penalties. You can run this scam once and then the courts get wise to it and punish you for trying to sue someone when it was made clear to you previously that you didn't have a case. Anyone else they sue will get attorney fees and the right to counter sue for harassment.

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @12:02AM (#43194901) Journal

    Ok, but what do you make of the claims posted on one of the sites links to in the original article, where someone claims Veoh was horribly mismanaged from the start, and blowing through as much as $4 million a month while not having any business or contracts lined up to justify the expenditures?

    I don't know enough about the company to say whether any of that is true ... but unfortunately, it wouldn't surprise me a bit. One would think that if the company really had a great, profitable business model all put together, even these lawsuits wouldn't make them disappear -- as another investor would come along and revive Veoh, knowing the path was now clear with winning all of the court cases.

    I've seen a number of start-ups which were clearly very fun, challenging and rewarding places to be employed ... but in the big picture, they just didn't have something profitable enough to sustain them. Usually, they simply spent too much money trying to give off an image of success, rather than going through the much less pleasant (but far more workable) growth over time from very minimalist beginnings.

  • by geekd ( 14774 ) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @12:14AM (#43194945) Homepage

    In the all hands meeting when Michael Robertson told us all about his idea for, one guy, a developer, (we'll call him "D") raised his hand and said "So, how are not a warez site, then?", and Michael had some explanation, and D asked the question again, and was insistent about it, and eventually was told to shut up and sit down (in nicer language). He was right, though, as history has proven.

  • Re:US Law (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 17, 2013 @12:16AM (#43194961)

    Actually, Roman law was mostly adversarial. Europeans think that their civil law derives from Roman law, but it doesn't. It derives from the interpretation of extant Roman codes by scholars beginning in the 11th century. And almost all the Roman law that those scholars knew about came from the Justinian Code, which was promulgated near the end of the Roman Empire. When Justinian published his code all the legal scholars and practitioners literally revolted. It was not representative of ancient Roman legal customs, which were largely based on something like a case law tradition (except the case law was literal, and unlike either European or Anglo-American legal systems you weren't usually supposed to derive abstract legal precepts from the law to apply to novel situations.)

    Any scholar will tell you that the best legal systems in the world tend to be Common Law based, although German law is very highly regarded and some argue the best. And that's because on the whole Common Law is driven by the courts, and not the legislature. The more that legislatures and politicians get involved, the quicker things turn to crap. Courts tend to be retrospective, so they're much more grounded in necessity and practicality. Politicians are always trying to solve imaginary problems, or to shape people's behavior according to their predilections and prejudices.

    The problem w/ inquisitorial systems is that it's effectively law by bureaucrats. If you think American legal stories are nightmarish, you should read accounts of people and businesses getting reamed in civil law jurisdictions like France, Italy, Brazil, etc. In Common Law jurisdictions most disputes are settled outside of court. And a far as being evidenced based, the Common Law rules of evidence are one of the greatest achievements of modern society. In inquisitorial systems, the judge can take into account anything he wants. That means prejudice and bias are dramatically more likely to effect the outcome of cases... and in fact do.

    None of this is to excuse what happened in this case, of course.

  • Re:US Law (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fredprado ( 2569351 ) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @02:17AM (#43195349)
    Thinking in absolutes is silly. That said, there are countries that manage to get nearer this ideal and others that unfortunately are much farther. When you try to define something you have to keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish with such definition. What distinctions exactly you are looking for. In this case you can see this definition of a guideline of civilization, and those countries that are nearer it can be considered "civilized" whilst those that are farther cannot.
  • Re:Sad (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 17, 2013 @08:30AM (#43196251)

    How about the loser pays legal fees to the winner but the amount is whatever the loser's lawyer gets paid.

  • Re:Sad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer ( 912032 ) <> on Sunday March 17, 2013 @10:34AM (#43196727) Homepage Journal

    For justice to prevail the loser HAS to pay all court costs. Period!

    You're wrong if you thing that will improve access to the courts; it would only make it worse. It would make it an even higher stakes poker game. The real things that would improve access to justice are such things as (a) making it easier rather than harder to bring class actions, (b) making it easier rather than harder for other forms of contingent cases, (c) investing money in civil legal aid, (d) developing laws to encourage prepaid legal services, and (e) the courts not bending the law -- as they sometimes do -- to accommodate large corporations abusing the judicial system (see my article on how the RIAA was given numerous unfair advantages by the courts in its war against ordinary people: "Large Recording Companies vs The Defenseless", ABA Judges Journal, Equal Access to Justice issue, 2008 [])

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein