Video-sharing site Vimeo hit the massively with a viral video of its staff lip-syncing along to Harvey Danger's Flagpole after work one day. Now Vimeo and parent company IAC are coming under legal attack for promoting the creation and distribution of these supposed lip dub videos in the shape of a suit filed by Capital Records, which is scouting for retribution for what it alleges is copyright transgression.
The complaint states that Vimeo prompts and inspires its users to uploadaudiovisual works, which it then disseminates virally across the Web. According to Capitol Records, the firm's staff actively takes part in making, choosing, commenting on, and at times selecting to remove audiovisual works, including those featuring its own copyrighted recordings. Earlier in the year, Universal Music Group lost a copyright infraction suit against another video-sharing site, Veoh.
It said that Vimeo Veoh did not do enough to guard copyright owners from users uploading their material. Veoh disagreed that it was protected under the DMCA safe harbor provision, which announces video sites aren't responsible for content that users upload, as long as they take that content down after copyright holders warn them to the material. The difference, according to Capitol, is that not only has Vimeo not attempted really tough to protect copyright owners, but it actively inspires contravention.
Capitol alleges that Vimeo's use of copyrighted material isn't an accident, saying the site contains a massive quantity of content that features, and draws most of its appeal from, the employment of copyrighted works.
As a consequence, according to the complaint, Vimeo is not just conscious of copyright infraction going down on its system, but actively promotes and prompts that infringement. it will be engaging to see if using copyrighted music for lip-synced videos will be considered fair use on video-sharing sites, particularly as recording firms increasingly separate their own professionally produced videos on sites like Vevo from user-generated mashups and lip dubs on YouTube.