YouTube Licensing Offer Opt-In Gives Indie Publishers an Advance

Between November 17, 2011 and January 16, 2012, independent music publishers and non-U.S. mechanical collection societies that have reciprocal agreements with Harry Fox Agency who choose to opt-in to a direct license agreement with YouTube is eligible for a share of an up-to $4 Million advance, based on the participant’s relative market share.

The YouTube Licensing Offer is a result of a 2007 class action law suit brought by the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), and several music publishers, against YouTube/Google.  In the suit, the plaintiffs alleged that YouTube used the publisher’ copyrighted works without authorization, thereby infringing the publishers’ copyrights.  The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of YouTube.  Plaintiffs appealed the judgment, and the suit is currently pending.

NMPA and music publisher who enter into the YouTube License Agreement with YouTube will have dismissed their appeal and will release YouTube from all past, and accrued, copyright infringement claims.  Since the agreement is not a class-wide settlement, publishers wishing to participate in the agreement must opt-in.  Moreover, publishers wishing to receive a portion of the advance must opt-in by the January 2012 opt-in period; but publishers are free to opt-in thereafter.

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