July 24, 2014
YOUTUBE STARLET GETS CHARGED WITH LAWSUIT
In today’s society, the use of the internet has quickly taken center stage, more so than years prior. Often, granting internet users the openness to create and replicate ideas and content, for their own personal use. However, with the freedom granted in the world of the internet, many can quickly become victim to creating and replicating too much; ultimately, leading to violating various laws regarding copyrights. This is the case in the article, which I chose. In recent news, a YouTube starlet has been slapped with a lawsuit for violating various copyright laws regarding using music from a Record Label without the approval of the Label.
YouTube celebrity, Michelle Phan, has been sued by Ultra Records, for using 50 of their songs in her YouTube makeup tutorials, which has generated a substantial following, reaching in the millions (Johnston, 2014). The article states that the EDM Record Label is looking to attain $150,000 per infringement, equaling to 50 individual instances. Phan’s lawyers state that Phan will fight this lawsuit, because Phan believes that Ultra agreed to allow her to use their content on her videos. The article also states, that one of the artists that is contracted under Ultra Records, who is affected by this lawsuit, is backing the YouTube star, stating that “if its exposure artists are looking for, Phan's audience isn't a bad target. She boasts over six million subscribers and videos that consistently crack a million views each.” (Johnston, 2014)
The issue stated in the article relates to ownership rights and whether or not Phan is able to use the Label’s content on her YouTube videos. It is understood, that Phan has generated a large amount of money from her videos, and Ultra Records, believes that she is obligated to pay them as their content is being used in her YouTube videos and website. Phan is proceeding forward, with the legal fight, on the understanding that Ultra granted her permission to use their content. It is worth noting that, according to YouTube (n.d.),”giving credit to the owner of a copyrighted work won’t by itself turn a non-transformative copy of their material into fair use” (Fair Use Myths). This may potentially work against Phan during this battle since she often demonstrates respectfulness to the artist of the song; still, stating song and artist information may not be good enough to protect her use of the Record Labels content.