Saturday, November 18, 2006

New large out-of-court settlement request

The increasingly belligerent Universal music has launched a legal action against Rupert Murdoch's MySpace. Not his specific one ("interests: using monopoly power to pervert markets and subvert democracy; boogieboarding; international travel") but the company which he recently acquired. Universal want money for all the unapproved sharing going on.

Having recently successfully shaken down Bill Gates to get a buck every time some schmuck buys a Zune, and done a deal with Google to cover YouTube, Universal is obviously feeling a little unstoppable right now:

Universal's lawsuit, lodged in a US district court, claims that MySpace "encourages, facilitates and participates in the unauthorised reproduction, adaptation, distribution and public performance".

In a statement it added: "Our music and videos play a key role in building the communities that have created hundreds of millions of dollars of value for the owners of MySpace.

"Our goal is not to inhibit the creation of these communities, but to ensure that our rights and those of our artists are recognised."

There are also plans to sue USMail, on the grounds that there must be some postal workers who sometimes whistle, and when they sometimes whistle, they might whistle Universal-owned tunes.