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Music Studios declare war on VKontakte

0 6 April 2014

The world’s largest recording studios Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music have all filed claims against VKontakte for the distribution of unlicensed music. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, IFPI, which represents the interests of around 1300 record companies in 66 countries, has begun legal proceedings against the Russian social network in Saint Petersburg with 3 separate claims filed on behalf of Sony Music Russia, Universal Music Russia and Warner Music UK.

According to the IFPI:

“The action is centred on the site, which allows the large-scale violation of copyright and other related laws. The company manages a service of unlicensed music, which contains a huge library of music tracks stored on the company’s website. The service provides tens of millions of users unlimited access to this library, allowing them to search, stream and listen to music.”

Included in the lawsuits is a list of artists, on whose behalf the record companies are working to try to persuade the courts to force the website to remove unlicensed music files from their service. Record companies are also seeking to force to adopt effective measures designed by the music industry to protect copyright holders. Rights holders are also demanding compensation for the loss of earnings in connection with the copyright violations amounting to more than $1.4 million.

“For the successful development of the music industry in Russia, it is necessary that digital partners implement licensing regulations to comply with the related copyrights and pay the fees due to performers and producers for their work and investment,” said Frances Moore, executive director of the IFPI. “For a long time we have repeatedly drawn VK’s attention to this problem and have recommended that VK put an end to the copyright violations and negotiate with the record companies. At present the company has not taken any significant steps to resolve this problem.”

This is not the first case of legal action being taken against VKontakte in connection with the distribution of unlicensed content. In October 2013 the site won one such lawsuits brought by the recording studio “Soyuz (Union)". The court decided that VKontakte had not participated in the distribution of the copyrighted content, and could not be held responsible for the activities of its users. The site also has previously declared that it always removes unlicensed content at the request of the copyright holder, but to remove all files themselves was impossible since this would require enormous resources.

Source: CNews 


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