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YouTube Piracy Class Action Lawsuit 2021

Consumer Class Actions

YouTube Piracy Class Action Lawsuit 2021 – No Copyrights Protection For Small Companies?

YouTube Was Sued For Piracy Claims

American online video sharing platform, YouTube, was charged with a class action lawsuit due to allegations that the company does not have strict measures regarding copyright infringement.

The Lawsuit

The class action lawsuit was filed by lead plaintiffs Maria Schneider, a five-time Grammy award-winning composer and Pirate Monitor, an anti-piracy company. 

The case was filed in a California federal court against YouTube, Google, and Alphabet Inc., alleging that the company permits copyrighted materials to be used on their website.

The lead plaintiff alleges that YouTube’s current copyright infringement policies only safeguard major companies, labels, and copyright holders, leaving small-time artists and composers vulnerable to piracy.

Plaintiff Allegations

Maria Schneider, the lead plaintiff, asserts that she owns rights to the songs she has composed, which includes “Journey Home,” “Hang Gliding,” and “Green Piece.” 

However, she alleges that parts of her songs have been used in videos posted on YouTube without her consent.

The composer argues that she has filed multiple requests for the company to bring down videos that contain her copyrighted works.

The complainant adds that while YouTube has a digital Content ID tool that tracks down the use of copyrighted material without the proper authorization, this tool is only available for big companies. 

She declares that the tool, which compares contents uploaded to a catalog of copyrighted materials, should be available for all.

She states that small-time composers like her would need to resort to tedious and manual means to look for content violating their rights independently.

Schneider further claims that the company benefits from allowing pirated content on their platform since they profit from advertisements.

The plaintiff seeks to require Google to improve its existing policies to protect everyone from copyright infringement. She also aims to be compensated for damages this has caused.

YouTube’s Response

In September 2020, Alphabet Inc., YouTube’s parent company, has requested the class action lawsuit to be dismissed.

The company asserts that they have done their best to ensure that all rights are protected, including content creators and composers. 

Alphabet also states that Pirate Monitor, one of the lead plaintiffs, has breached the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by uploading videos on YouTube, then taking them down under false DMCA notices.

Defendant also adds that Maria Schneider’s allegations that she has no access to tools, like YouTube’s ContentID, is false since the plaintiff has allegedly used similar tools in the past.

Alphabet maintains that access to their copyright management tools should be secured and protected since it has the power to take down content automatically and can be abused with wrongful use.

Pirate Monitor Dismissal

Following YouTube’s response, one of the lead plaintiffs, Pirate Monitor, has dropped off from the case on March 8, 2021.

The anti-piracy company’s action has left Maria Schneider the only lead plaintiff of the class action lawsuit against YouTube.

Pirate Monitor claims that their move was voluntary and that no amount or any form of compensation was paid to them by YouTube.

Editor’s Note on YouTube Piracy Class Action Lawsuit 2021:

This article is created to update you of the latest class action lawsuit filed against YouTube due to copyright infringement allegations.

What are your thoughts on this piece? Are you a YouTube content creator affected by the same?

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