The Battle Between Ford Motor Company and Freeplay Music
Ford Motor Company is countersuing Freeplay Music with false advertising claims against the latter’s allegations of copyright infringement against the motor company giant.
Freeplay accuses Ford in its lawsuit of not paying for the 54 songs from their music catalog that the motor company giant used 74 times in its advertisements and asks the court to order for a remuneration of $8.1 million for the infringements.
Freeplay uses a service called TuneSat to search the internet of unlicensed audio file uses of its music online and on television through “audio fingerprint technology” and the service uncovered the use of some of Freeplay’s catalog of songs to advertisements affiliated with the motor company giant. TuneSat contacted Ford to report what it found with instructions to produce proof of payment of the licensed songs.
Freeplay is asking that Ford pay $150,000 per use of the unlicensed songs emphasizing that anything less “would not get the attention of a multibillion-dollar corporation that continues to commit widespread infringement.”
Ford acknowledges being contacted by TuneSat but rebuts all allegations brought against it by Freeplay and alleges in its counter lawsuit response that none of Freeplay’s online catalog music offers are free.
Ford said that users were drawn in by Freeplay’s promise of “FREE (SONGS) FOR YouTube” and would only find out that the music wasn’t really free until the company “commence(d) its bait-and-switch scheme with an unexpected demand for payment, often for $150,000 in statutory damages for each downloaded song, based on the outrageous notion that the user’s unwitting “copyright infringement” was “willful.”
Freeplay filed numerous infringement lawsuits and accepted settlements from the accused which Ford claimed was wrongful because “the simple threat of litigation was enough to shake down Internet users who mistakenly thought they were getting exactly what Freeplay advertises — music that was ‘free’ to use,”
Ford also stressed that the videos in which the Freeplay music was used were not made by the motor company, so the company is not responsible for them.
Ford explained that “(The suit) is based on the meritless premise that Ford Motor Co. can be held liable for the conduct of various foreign third-party affiliates who allegedly posted video advertisements on YouTube in foreign jurisdictions directed to foreign audiences. Among a host of reasons, Freeplay’s claim fails because the U.S. Copyright Act does not apply to such extraterritorial conduct and, independently, liability under the U.S. Copyright Act cannot be based on corporate affiliation alone.”
Ford seeks to prevent Freeplay Music from falsely advertising that its music is free and wants the latter to pay for unspecified damages, court costs, and attorneys’ fees.
Editor’s note on the Ford vs Freeplay Music Lawsuit:
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