3 Count: Shell Company

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1: YouTube Says Rights Management Firm That Sued over Content ID Access Doesn’t Really Exist

First off today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that YouTube has hit back at a lawsuit against them by Pirate Monitor saying that not only did the company act improperly when attempting to gain access to the Content ID system, but that it’s just a shell company.

Pirate Monitor sued YouTube saying that the site was not doing enough to stop repeat infringers and was unfairly denying them (and others) access to the Content ID system. However, YouTube quickly hit back saying that Pirate Monitor was engaging in unethical behavior to gain access to Content ID, namely uploading their own content to YouTube from separate accounts and then filing to have it taken down.

Now, YouTube has amended their counterclaims to add that they have evidence that Pirate Monitor is little more than a shell company for Gábor Csupó, a Hungarian film director that lives in California. YouTube also claims that Pirate Monitor is withholding key discovery evidence that may provide more details on their actions leading up to the lawsuit.

Disclosure: Through my consulting firm CopyByte I provide DMCA takedown services and content enforcement.

2: Microsoft Teams Up with European News Publishers to Make Google and Facebook Squirm

Next up today, David Meyer at Fortune reports that, even as Facebook and Google are battling with publishers in the European Union and Australia over whether they should pay for news in search results, Microsoft is teaming with news publishers to call for even stronger regulations.

In both the EU and Australia, new laws require search engines and social networks to pay news publishers for the inclusion of their content. However, things reached a fever pitch in Australia as Facebook barred the sharing of Aussie news sources until the proposed law was amended to weaken the country’s arbitration system for settling upon rates.

However, Microsoft is now working with news publishers to ask the EU to pass a law like Australia’s original one and add a forced arbitration clause into their law. According to Microsoft, such a system is needed to create legal certainty though Facebook claimed that it would be biased in favor of publishers and be too expensive to work within.

3: Creative Industries Coalition Urges Biden to Strengthen Copyright Protections

Finally today, Jared Gans at The Hill reports that the CreativeFuture coalition, an organization that represents over 500 companies in the creative industries, have written a letter to President Biden asking him to strengthen U.S. copyright protections, especially against criminal pirate groups.

The group represents companies from film, television, photography, publishing and other creative industries. The letter says that the pandemic lockdown has led to a spike in piracy and that digital video piracy alone costs the U.S. economy at least $29.2 billion annually.

As a result, they are seeking strict enforcement of the Protect Lawful Streaming Act, which makes commercial-grade illegal streaming a felony, and the CASE Act, which created a small claims court for copyright matters. They further asked for changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which they say has fallen behind with the rise of sites like YouTube and Facebook.

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