Vimeo open to liability claims from record labels

October 2013

Music publishing, recorded music, internet


A federal judge in New York has said that there is a ‘triable issue’ at the heart of the claim brought by the major record labels against user-generated video website Vimeo, owned by Barry Diller’s IAC, over claims that Vimeo  had knowledge or awareness of copyrighted music in some of the videos being shared. Vimeo, which is now one of the top 130 most trafficked websites, responded by asserting that it was free of liability thanks to the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The claim centres on whether the company took enough preventative actions to avoid liability.  Judge Ronnie Abrams denied safe harbour defence for 55 of the 199 videos brought up in the suit, in particular the now very popular ‘lip synch’ videos. Reportedly, these 55 presented situations where Vimeo employee either knowingly uploaded videos that used copyrighted music themselves, or had documented interactions with users that did (comments, likes, etc.) and still failed to take the video down. In the 56-page ruling Judge Abrams released, he called the site’s alleged knowledge of these incidents a “triable issue.”  Noting that the site had12.3 million registered users uploading 43,000 new videos each day” the judge also agreed that there were no triable issue in regards to pre-1972 music and granted the website summary judgment on that. matter, although reportedly said that as the DCMA does NOT apply to pre-1972 recordings it leaves Vimeo with an interesting challenge.

No Comments

Comments are closed.