Universal Music To Battle Sony Films
In what may have the markings of a Hollywood civil war, Vivendi's Universal Music Group has filed copyright-infringement lawsuits against online video-sharing websites Grouper and Bolt. Both sites feature music videos, some of them pirated copies of UMG productions. In a statement, UMG said that the two websites "cannot reasonably expect to build their businesses on the backs of our content and the hard work of songwriters without permission and without in any way compensating the content creators." Grouper CEO Josh Felser said in response, "Our website is protected by federal law, and we're vigilant about taking down copyrighted content when we're properly notified." Raising the possibility of internecine warfare is the fact that Grouper was purchased by Sony Pictures Entertaining in August for $65 million. Reuters reported Tuesday that Universal has retained the right to add Sony Pictures to the suit going forward. But Daily Variety commented, "Sony Pictures is learning the downside of owning a video-sharing website."