LONDON – A leading YouTube entrepreneur is facing legal action for alleged copyright infringement in her videos.
Ultra Records, which has musicians Kaskade, deadmau5 and Calvin Harris on its books, is suing Michelle Phan.
The label and its publishing arm claimed she had used about 50 of their songs without permission in her YouTube videos and on her own website.
But one of the artistes whose work she is alleged to have used has said he supported Ms Phan.
Kaskade, whose work features most prominently in the record label’s complaint, said: “Copyright law is a dinosaur, ill-suited for the landscape of today’s media.”
He expressed his disbelief on Twitter that his own record label was suing Ms Phan for copyright infringement.
“And the kicker… they’re citing her using my songs for the suit. Come. On,” he wrote on the site.
But Kaskade, who was nominated for a Grammy award last year, said there was little he could do to stop the label pursuing the case.
She is a member of a group of YouTube stars whose popularity rivals that of many mainstream pop stars.
One of her YouTube videos, Barbie Transformation Tutorial, has been viewed more than 50 million times.
Her tutorial on how to reproduce Lady Gaga’s look has been watched more than 45 million times.
British YouTube tutorial stars such as Sprinkle of Glitter, have signed deals with major brands. Others include Tanya Burr, Lily Pebbles and Pixiwoo.
According to court documents filed in California, the label and its associated publisher, Ultra International Music Publishing LLC, claim Phan made money from advertising attached to her YouTube channel and website.
The label also said she “has been featured in a high-profile and multi-platform advertising campaign for YouTube, which featured some of YouTube’s most popular personalities”.
“[Ms] Phan has also been featured in national advertising for Dr Pepper,” it said.
The label said that, while its complaint “includes nearly 50 examples of blatant copyright infringement, plaintiffs’ analysis is still preliminary and the full extent of [Ms] Phan’s infringement has not yet been determined”.
The parties have asked for 150,000 dollars (£88,000) for each proven copyright infringement.
The publishing arm has also demanded an injunction, claiming that it has “sustained and will continue to sustain substantial, immediate and irreparable injury” as a result of Ms Phan’s use of its copyrighted material. (BBC/NAN)[eap_ad_4]