YouTube Heads to Court Next Month, Facing Piracy Lawsuit




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YouTube is facing a jury trial in June over several mass copyright infringement allegations. The streaming service has already paid more than $6 billion in damages to the music industry between July 2021 and June 2022. 

Back in July 2020, seven-time Grammy award-winning musical composer Maria Schneider (“Cerulean Skies”, Gumba Blue”, “Nocturne”) filed a class action lawsuit against YouTube for “massive deficiencies in its copyright enforcement measures,” sources state. She claims YouTube restricted access to “takedown tools” as well as profited off of copyright infringement and neglected to ban users who repeatedly uploaded copyrighted content from its streaming platform. 

Schneider has called out YouTube for copyright infringement for years, calling the streaming platform a “pirate orgy… dismantling copyright from the inside, like a flesh-eating virus.”

The 44-page complaint states, “the video-sharing platform fails on a grand scale to protect “ordinary creators” who are “denied any meaningful opportunity to prevent YouTube’s public display of works that infringe their copyrights — no matter how many times their works have previously been pirated on the platform.”

YouTube is supposed to allow copyright holders to automatically block users from uploading such content and prohibit members from generating any revenue from said content. Some copyright holders have opted to cease sending takedown orders in lieu of payments from YouTube.

Schneider’s civil suit outlines how “Content ID is not only unavailable to Plaintiffs and the Class, but it actually insulates the vast majority of known and repeated copyright infringers from YouTube’s repeat infringer policy, thereby encouraging its users’ continuing upload of infringing content… This two-tiered system essentially trains YouTube’s billions of uploading users that there is essentially minimal risk to uploading to their hearts’ content.”

The trial is scheduled to be held at the U.S. District Court in the San Francisco district of California on June 12th, 2023 to debate 317 separate infringement violations.

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