Video & Audio|August 17, 2011| Author: Kim LaCapria|Tags:

YouTube, Music Publishers Group Settle Copyright Lawsuit

A legal battle between YouTube and the National Music Publishers Association that began in United States District Court in Manhattan in 2007 over copyright infringement has finally been settled.

The suit was brought by the NMPA and several other parties- including the English Premier league- four years ago. The new settlement allows even smaller publishers to collect royalties from user generated content- like a slideshow or a cat video- that uses copyright-protected music. Under the terms of the settlement, YouTube agreed to use revenue generated by ads running alongside user generated content to pay publishers and the NMPA will drop the higher court appeal of the original summary judgment.

In a statement, President and CEO David Israelite commented on the arrangement:

“We are pleased to have resolved NMPA’s litigation claims and to work with YouTube in providing a new licensing opportunity for songwriters and publishers. This is a positive conclusion for all parties and one that recognizes and compensates the work of songwriters and publishers going forward.”

YouTube addressed the settlement in a blog post, and head of Strategic Partner Development for music Elizabeth Moody indicated the video streaming company also felt the settlement benefited all parties:

“It’s been YouTube’s policy to run ads alongside videos with commercial music only when the copyright holders for both the sound recording and the composition have authorized YouTube to do so. We’ve long had agreements with all four major record labels as well as dozens of independent labels, and now that we are broadening our coverage with more publishers, we’ll be able to create more revenue streams for all of them.”

Under the terms of the new agreement, NMPA’s subsidiary, the Harry Fox Agency, will have the ability to issue licenses for any of the nearly 50,000 publishers it represents, as well as outside publishers.