NEW YORK– LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The Football Association Premier League (“Premier League”) and Bourne Co. (“Bourne”) announced today that several additional parties will be joining the fight for content protection against YouTube/Google alleging wide-scale copyright infringement, including National Music Publishers’ Association (“NMPA”), the largest music publishing association in the U.S. with over 600 members; renowned investigative journalist Robert Tur; the U.K.’s Rugby Football League; the Finnish Football League Association; X-Ray Dog Music, composers and producers of high-end music for popular movie and TV trailers; Knockout Entertainment Limited (Secondsout.com) and Seminole Warriors Boxing, which have separately promoted some of the most anticipated boxing matches over the past several years; and the author Daniel Quinn. Premier League and Bourne also announced that the two law firms representing them in the proposed class action (Proskauer Rose LLP and Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP) have been appointed Class counsel on an interim basis by the Judge presiding over the case.
According to Dan Johnson, Premier League spokesman: “We are pleased to see so many other copyright holders joining us in what we are trying to achieve. The clear and growing message to YouTube and Google is simple: their callous and opportunistic business model is contrary to right, contrary to law, and must and will be stopped.”
Johnson continued: “We are also delighted that our counsel, Proskauer and Bernstein Litowitz, have been appointed counsel for the Class on an interim basis. The appointment demonstrates the Court’s confidence in these counsel, which will help us to proceed against YouTube and Google in a cohesive and unified manner.” Proskauer and Bernstein Litowitz have represented Premier League and Bourne since the inception of the case against YouTube and Google. They were appointed interim Class counsel by the Honorable Louis L. Stanton in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 27, 2007. The Court found the appointment “appropriate and desirable in the interests of the putative class and the efficient management of discovery and other procedures in this and related actions” and that the two law firms would “fairly and adequately represent those interests and conduct those proceedings.”
Bourne Co. similarly “expressed pleasure that the NMPA has joined in this litigation”, adding, “We are proud to see our fellow music publishers forming a united front to protect the rights of all copyright holders. This unity of purpose is a cornerstone of the NMPA’s structure.”
The newest public supporters of the class action suit include:
National Music Publishers’ Association – The NMPA, founded in 1917, is the largest U.S. music publishing trade association with over 600 members, including both small and large publishers. It is committed to promoting and advancing the interests of music publishers and their songwriting partners. In this vein, the NMPA continues to represent its members in shaping the future of the music industry by fostering a business environment that furthers both creative and financial success.
Robert Tur – Mr. Tur is an American broadcast reporter often credited with revolutionizing the way breaking news is covered. He created the Los Angeles News Service, one of the earliest to use the helicopter in the coverage of live breaking news including the first to televise a police chase. Other noteworthy reporting included the attack on Reginald Denny during the L.A. Riots in 1992 and the first to locate and televise O.J. Simpson’s infamous slow-speed chase a white Ford Bronco in 1994. Mr. Tur has shared three Television News Emmy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast excellence, an Associated Press National Breaking News award, the NPPA Humanitarian Award, several Golden Mikes, and numerous other local and national citations.
Mr. Tur, who has advanced copyright protection for creators of intellectual property in the past and was first to file suit against YouTube, intends to withdraw the lawsuit against YouTube that he commenced last year in California and join the proposed class action as a named plaintiff. Said Mr. Tur: “I carried the ball against YouTube for a year now. After careful analysis and consideration, I have concluded that the Premier League/Bourne class action is the most effective way for independent copyright holders to secure the judicial remedies that I am seeking, and I am pleased to join them in their fight for content protection.”
The Rugby Football League – The RFL is the governing body for rugby league football in the UK, and helps to organize the Super League, the premier rugby league competition, as well as the National Leagues and the Carnegie Challenge Cup. Rugby league football is recognized as one of the “Big 5” sports in England. The Carnegie Challenge Cup Final draws over a million viewers every year; it will be played this year on August 25 at Wembley Stadium.
The Finnish Football League Association – The FFLA organizes the Veikkausliiga, the premier soccer league in Finland, as well as the Finnish League Cup. This year’s season is taking place now. Updates can be found at http://www.veikkausliiga.com.
X-Ray Dog Music – X-Ray Dog is a production and publishing company based in Burbank, California. It primarily produces high-end orchestral and choral music for movie and TV trailers, including music for recent trailers for Transformers, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Spiderman 3, Live Free or Die Hard, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, 300, Ratatouille, The Simpsons Movie, and many more.
Knockout Entertainment Limited (Secondsout.com) — Owners of Secondsout.com, has rights for over 30 live boxing matches worldwide over the next 12 months and previously broadcast matches of Wladimir Klitschko. Secondsout.com has 600,000 unique users a month.
Seminole Warriors Boxing – Launched in 2003, Seminole Warriors is a boxing promotions firm based in Hollywood, Florida. Seminole’s mission is to bring the best boxers in the world to boxing fans, and to help re-establish the sport of boxing for a new generation. Seminole Warriors has recently promoted the Ibragimov-Briggs, Ibragimov-Austin, Miranda-Eastman, Bell-Rothmann, Bell-Brown, Quiles-Cherry, Urango-Eason, and Ibragimov-Whitaker fights.
Daniel Quinn – Mr. Quinn is best known for his book Ishmael (1992), which won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship Award in 1991. Ishmael is available in both print and audio versions.
The new parties join a number of other entities around the world that have previously announced their support for the class action, including: the Association of European Professional Leagues, which represents the interests of 25 Member and Associate Member Leagues across Europe and more than 800 affiliated clubs; Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co., one of the world’s leading independent music publishers; the national French Tennis Federation; the French Professional Football League; and Cal IV Entertainment, LLC, the major country music publisher with over 15,000 copyrights.
The class action complaint, filed in federal court in New York City on May 4, 2007, asserts claims on behalf of all copyright owners who have had their material copied and exploited on the YouTube website without authorization. The lawsuit asks a federal judge for a court order to stop YouTube’s unauthorized and uncompensated use of the creative works of Class members, force YouTube to adopt existing technology to prevent unauthorized content from being exploited, and for damages for past infringement.
The lawsuit, The Football Association Premier League Limited, et al. v. YouTube, Inc., et al., 07 Civ. 3582 (LLS), is pending before the Honorable Louis L. Stanton in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Premier League, which is the UK’s top tier soccer league, and Bourne, an independent music publisher founded in 1919, are represented in this matter by Proskauer Rose LLP and Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP. Inquiries can be directed either to Louis M. Solomon at Proskauer Rose at 212-969-3200 or Sean Coffey at Bernstein Litowitz at 212-554-1409. Further information about the suit can also be found at www.youtubeclassaction.com.