YouTube Faces $1 Billion Lawsuit from Musicians

YouTube are in a little bit of a legal bind which can cost them up to $1 billion.

Yesterday afternoon, it was reported that Pharrell, The Eagles, and other musicians had filed a lawsuit against the popular music streaming site which can result in a major pay out. Lawyers for the artists have demanded that YouTube take down over 20,000 videos from the streaming site which they reportedly have no rights to.

According to Irving Azoff, the founder of a new legal group named the Global Music Rights, YouTube does not have the performance right to thousands of songs from his clients which include the previous named musicians as well as Chris Cornell, John Lennon, and Smokey Robinson, and more.

Azoff also claims that even though YouTube negotiated with the respected record labels for the rights to the music, they did not reach out to negotiate with the artists themselves. Azoff also says that his clients want to pursue YouTube first because they are the least cooperative of the companies and that their clients feel they are the worst offenders.

Google, who will be launching their own subscription music service next year in a partnership with YouTube, claim that the site does in fact have the performance rights from previous deals that had been made.

Global Music Rights’ lawyer Howard King says that has yet to be seen.

“Without providing a shred of documentation, you blithely proffer that YouTube can ignore the Notices because it operates under blanket licenses from performing rights organizations other than Global,” reads the letter King sent to YouTube earlier this month.

“However, you refuse to provide the details of any such license agreements, presumably because no such agreements exist for YouTube’s present uses of the songs in any service, but certainly with respect to its recently added Music Key service.”

But this streaming site vs artist battle is nothing new and has been escalating more a more over the past few months. The major hit came when Taylor Swift decided to pull her entire catalog off of Spotify which resulted in the music streaming giant trying to coax her back with “cutesy” letters. That did not work as we all know.

Multiple Lawsuits Filed Against SXSW

South By Southwest is supposed to be a time to let loose and enjoy music, films, and the interactive conferences that are held, but this year’s festivities took a turn for the worse when a drunk idiot tried to evade police at a D.U.I. checkpoint which resulted in him killing several people and injuring dozens more.

Now, almost a year after the horrific incident took place, seven lawsuit have been filed again SXSW by the families of those killed in the fatal crash that took place in the early hours of March 13, 2014 on Red River, according to the Associated Press.

The wrongful death lawsuit have been filed in both federal and Texas state court.

But, the festival and their private companies, SXSW Holdings INC. and SXSW LLC aren’t the only ones being named in the suits, the traffic consulting firm, Traffic Design Consultants, LLC and the person who headed the project, Patrick Lowe, have also been named.

One of the suits claims that the tragedy was “foreseeable and predictable” and that all those involved, especially the festival, ignored safety regulations and industry standards by not using “rigid barriers.”

“A festival organizer or traffic design consultant of ordinary intelligence would have anticipated danger” cites one of the lawsuits.

They also claim that the festival and everyone involved should have anticipated that something would happen due to all the excessive alcohol consumption that was going on. The suit even cited that Austin is the “number one for alcohol consumption in Texas.”

But, it sill does not end there. The lawsuit also says that the festival’s Right-Of-Way permit puts them in “legal possession of the street where the crash occurred.”

“The only way to force a private company like South by Southwest to take action in the future is to hold them accountable for their failures in the past,” states Scott Hendler, the attorney for one of the families.

“Otherwise, there’s no incentive for them to do anything different.”

Lizzy Plug, the wife of one of the first victim’s identified as Steven Craenmehr mirrored her attorney’s sentiment.

“South by Southwest is accountable for this tragedy, in my thoughts.”

In the response to the lawsuit SXSW have released the following statement:

“What happened on Red River was a terrible tragedy, caused by Rashad Owen’s utter disregard of human life. Our hearts continue to ache for those injured and the families of those who lost their lives. We look forward to his prosecution for his awful crimes.”

In September, a report sanctioned by SXSW done by the city of Austin revealed that crowd management issues including traffic congestion attributed to the crash.

The report also revealed that the city might also have some blame because of the overcrowding of venues and the high consumption of alcohol compromised the

Due to the report, the festival has already planned to minimize the amount of unofficial event surrounding them including the FADER Fort and the Hype Hotel. As of now, SXSW is asking for the city to limit the amount of permits distributed for events that require temporary permits.

As for the man behind all of this tragedy, Rashad Owens, he is currently in jail on capital murder charges. He is also being sued by the families.

Jury Rules in Apple’s Favor in Antitrust Lawsuit


A couple of weeks ago, Apple was taken to court in a class-action lawsuit which accused the company of purposely erasing music from customers’ iTunes which were not purchased directly from iTunes, but from other digital music sites.

On Tuesday, a jury sided with Apple on the case.

The eight-person jury came to a unanimous decision following just three-hour of deliberation. It should be pointed out that the short deliberation was a kick in the head for the plaintiffs who were building up the lawsuit and trying to take it to trail for nearly 10 years.

The jury determined that Apple did in fact use the iTunes software updates, the ones that supposedly erased the music, to deliver improvements for older iPods. The iPods that were reportedly affected by this were those purchased between September 2006 and March 2009.

Throughout the trial, lawyers for the company discovered that two of the plaintiffs initially named in the suit did not buy iPods in the relevant time period.

“There’s not one piece of evidence of a single individual who lost a single song, not even a complaint about it. This is all made up at this point,” said William Isaacson, Apple’s lead lawyer about the case.

“We created iPod and iTunes to give our customers the world’s best way to listen to music,” an Apple spokesperson said after the verdict was reached.

“Every time we’ve updated those products over the years – we’ve done it to make the user experience better. ”

As the trail made headlines at the beginning of the month, it was reported that if Apple lost, they would be out $350 million in damages which could have reached up to $1 billion under the antitrust laws.

To read the full report about the case, head on over to the New York Times.

Apple in Hot Water Over Deleting Rivals Music from iPods

We all know that people’s outlook on Apple can easily range from not wanting anything to do with them to waiting hours in line in the cold to pay hundreds of dollars for their gizmo of the moment.

But, it sounds like Apple had been doing something behind the backs of their customers that they will not be very appreciate of, now that their secret has been discovered.

During a court hearing in Oakland, Calif. it was revealed that the mega-corporation had been knowingly deleting songs from users’ iPods that had been downloaded from competing music services between 2007 and 2009.

According to attorney Patrick Coughlin, when a user tried to sync songs which had been downloaded from another service to their iPods, iTunes would receive an error message. The message would tell the user they needed to restore the factory setting and once that had been completed, the music from the rival services would be deleted.

“You guys decided to give them the worst possible experience and blow up [a user’s library]” Coughlin told Apple security director, Augustin Farruguia.

Farruguia responded by saying: “Apples contends the moves were legitimate security measures.” He also claimed that hacker with names like “DVD Jon” and “Requiem” made Apple “very paranoid” about protecting iTunes.

When asked why they did not tell users about this, Farruguia responded by saying “We don’t need to give users too much information” and that information would “confuse users.”

At present time, the class-action lawsuit is seeking $350 million in damages, claiming Apple abused their power to enforce their monopoly status in the digital music world.

If Apple ends up being found guilty of the claims, the damages could triple what is currently being sought at the moment, meaning this could easily cost them $1 billion under the antitrust laws.

Kesha Files Abuse Lawsuit Against Longtime Producer


It’s going down and it looks like Dr. Luke will be the one yelling timber.

Months after leaving a rehabilitation center for an eating disorder, Kesha (real name Kesha Rose Sebert) has filed a lawsuit against longtime producer, Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald) and according to recently filed documents, it appears that there was no harmony between the two.

The Rising Star judge is claiming that over the course of ten years, the super-producer was abusive to her, physically, mentally and emotionally.

In the lawsuit documents, obtained by TMZ, Kesha alleges that Dr. Luke began abusing her after signing to his record label, Kemosabe, when she was 18 years old. From there, she says that she was forced to use drugs and alcohol while experiencing several sexual advances from him.

In the documents, Kesha chronicles several times that she has been abuse by Dr. Luke was also asking the judge to let her out of her contract with him.

Several examples of abuse includes one time in which the singer says she was “made to snort something” before getting on a plane. Later on, Dr. Luke forced himself on her. There was an other instance reported that the producer slipped her some “sober pills” and when she woke, she was in his bed with no recollection of how she got there.

“This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for 10 years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and an instance of sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke,” Kesha’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, told TMZ.

“The facts presented in our lawsuit paint a picture of a man who is controlling and willing to commit horrible acts of abuse in an attempt to intimidate an impressionable, talented, young female artist into submission for his personal gain. Kesha is focused on moving her life and her career beyond this terrible time.”

During the pop star’s stint in rehab, it was revealed that part of the reason she had checked herself in had to do with Dr. Luke and all the insults about her looks and her weight. In one instance, Kesha says the producer called her a “fucking refrigerator” and urged her to lose a lot of weight while during some tour downtime.

At the time, Dr. Luke had said that the claims were “completely false.”

This isn’t the first time some problems had been brewing between the two. Last October, fans of the “Warrior” has started a petition for her to be let out of her contract saying that the producer was forcing her to sing “recycled” crap.

Morrissey in the Middle of a Not So “Peaceful” Lawsuit


UPDATE: It was only a matter of time before Morrissey would speak out about the accusations against him.

Like always, the singer has taken to his blog, True to You to deny all accusations.

In the lengthy post, he reveals he has had issues with David Tseng, the editor and the person the so-called hit was placed on, in the past, but nothing that would warrant him to get “hurt” or killed.


We all know that Morrissey like things his way, but we didn’t know he was willing to use bodily harm to get it, at least according to a new lawsuit. And here we thought he was a lover, not a fighter.

In a new lawsuit, the frontman’s former security guard claims that he was fired because he refused to injure a fan.

According to TMZ, who we all know are good at getting the dirt, the bodyguard, Bradley Steyn was hired after an incident during a Morrissey show last May in San Jose where admires rushed the stage, knocking down the Smiths’ singer in the process.

Steyn claims that the Moz fired him shortly after that because he refused to “hurt” a fan that runs the fansite,, which was started back in 1997.

Steyn says that Morrissey asked him if the fan “could get hurt” because he felt that the website “invaded his personal life.”

But that’s not where this ongoing circus ends. Steyn says that Morrissey’s tour manager even went so far as to wonder aloud if said fan “could be gotten rid of” and if they could somehow find his address to do the deed.

Funnily enough, all this drama comes a few weeks after the Moz released his new album, World Peace is None of Your Business.

Guess there is no “world” peace among these people. At all.

Beastie Boys Win Lawsuit Against Monster Energy Drink


The Beastie Boys have come out winning in the lawsuit that they filed against Monster Energy Drink. The lawsuit stems from a copyright infringement and false endorsement claim against the widely popular energy drink company for using one of their songs without a license in an online video.

The jury has awarded the group $1.7 million in damages, though they had originally asked for $2.5 million. While they came out as winners, Monster Energy Drink argue that they should owe the group no more than $125,000 for the case.

The Beastie Boy’s lawyer, Kevin Puvalowski said in his closing statement that the beverage company hoped to benefit from “how cool” his clients were without their permission. “They didn’t care if their employees were stealing from the Beastie Boys,” he said.

Reid Kahn, Monster’s lawyer, did though, acknowledge that the company has infringed on the group’s copyrights, but said that it was because an employee thought the company had the permission to use the music.

The video at the center of the lawsuit is one that centers around an annual snowboarding competition the company organizes and sponsors in Canada called “Ruckus in the Rockies.”

The video featured clips from the competition and an after party attended by DJs including Z-Trip who remixed Beastie Boys songs including “Sabotage” and “Make some Noise” which appeared in the video. It then concluded with a sentence saying “RIP MCA,” in honor of late Beastie member, Adam Yauch who sadly passed away after his battle with cancer, a day before the competition took place.

Once the damaged were award, Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) stated, “We’re happy. We just want to thank the jury.” At the time, an attorney for Monster had said that they will appeal the verdict.

NFL Hits MIA for Additional Retribution


It’s been months since we last heard anything about the lawsuit the National Football League has hit Sri-Lankan rapper M.I.A. with, but it looks like things are getting even more heated.

The rapper appeared during Madonna’s Super Bowl XLVI Half-Time Show back on Feb. 5, 2012 for the Material Girl’s song “Give Me All Your Luvin.'” During the song, M.I.A. flipped off the camera which sent the football association into a tailspin.

In the custom of Super Bowl half-time performers, she was not paid to perform the song at football’s biggest night, but that did not stop the NFL from demanding $1.5 million for allegedly breaching her performance contract and tarnishing its goodwill and reputation.

Now, the NFL is demanding that she pay back an additional $15.1 million more in “restitution” because that would be the alleged value of public exposure she received by appearing on the show for about two minutes. Reportedly, the NFL came up with that figure by basing it on what advertisers would have paid for an ad to run during that time slot.

“The claim for restitution lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic,” M.I.A. said in papers she filed on Friday. She adds that the “continued pursuit of this proceeding is transparently an exercise by the NFL intended solely to bully and make an example of Respondents for daring to challenge NFL.”

Since the original lawsuit was filed, M.I.A.’s attorney, Howard King, has been on a witch hunt, trying to discredit as many people involved in the NFL by proving that not all of them adhere to the “wholesome” nature that they are trying to protect. King even launched an email for anyone to submit information about these people; he claims it’s to “balance the field.”

As for M.I.A., we see her dragging out this suit until the NFL let’s it go.

Domestic Violence Advocacy Groups Asks Conor Oberst to Drop Libel Suit


Just when you thought that the “Conor Oberst Rape Chronicles” had come to an end when the singer filed a libel suit against the accuser Joanie Faircloth, a national domestic violence advocacy group is asking him to drop the suit because they claim it will stop other sexual assault victims from coming forward.

The group, Right to Speak Out tried to contact the Bright Eyes frontman to ask him to drop the legal suit even though he had announced that all the proceeds from the suit would be donated to several nonprofits supporting victims of violence against women. They claim that no matter what, the lawsuit will still damaged “the  culture of silence around sexual assault.”

“It is offensive to imply that filing such a lawsuit is a respectable way to procure money regardless of what he declares he intends to do with it,” the group said in a statement. “Even if Ms. Faircloth was not truthful, vilifying discussion of sexual assault by filing such a lawsuit only adds to the problem of under-reporting that enables sexual assault to proliferate at alarming rates.” Only 21 percent of rapes are reported, according to the nonprofit’s statistic, with only seven percent of those ending in convictions.

Right to Speak Out in its statement twice said Oberst “raped” Faircloth, which, again, he has denied. Emily Davis, a spokesperson for the group, explained in a telephone interview: “Typically there is this idea of innocence until proven guilty, and in this case the lawsuit has actually been filed against Ms. Faircloth. Using that standard presumption we would presume that she is innocent of libel and that these were true statements, that was talking about those experiences from a point of truth, until proven otherwise.”

Neither Faircloth nor Oberst have commented on the matter since the lawsuit was filed last week. Coincidentally enough, Oberst first solo album in six years, Upside Down Mountain is due out on May 20.