PokerNews.com Sued for $6Million by Music Industry Giants2 weeks ago
PokerStars’ news subsidiary PokerNews.com have been hit by a $6million+ lawsuit claiming copyright infringement - the site continuing to use unlicensed music recordings in its podcasts despite apparently being informed of its illegality several years ago…
Universal Music, Capitol Records, Polygram Publishing and UMG Recordings are among those looking for restitution from the PokerNews.com’s parent company, iBus Media, citing in their legal brief ‘hundreds of podcasts that intentionally incorporate significant portions of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted musical works’.
The artists whose music was illegally used include some of the biggest names in music history, The Black Eyed Peas, The Who and Billy Idol among dozens named in the claim – the record companies seeking $150,000 in statutory damages per infringed work.
Previous warnings ignored..
That total claim of over $6million could increase if the case goes to trial, with the plaintiffs stating:
“iBus Media was notified that it was infringing Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works nearly three years ago. Nevertheless, iBus Media continues to infringe. iBus Media’s infringement is therefore wilful and deliberate.”
The major music industry labels’ legal complaint also focuses on the fact that:
“In each of the Infringing Podcasts, Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works are prominently featured and undoubtedly used with the intention of making the podcasts more appealing to listeners.”
The labels’ catalogs of copyrighted musical works “is extremely valuable and encompasses works composed or famously performed by a wide array of legendary songwriters and artists, including both contemporary hits and influential standards”, they claim.
As a result of the site’s unauthorised usage:
“Its conduct has caused and continues to cause substantial, manifest, and irreparable harm to Plaintiffs, while enriching iBus Media at Plaintiffs’ expense”.
It was only last year that the long-suspected link between PokerStars’ owners, The Stars Group (formerly Amaya Inc.), and the self-proclaimed “largest poker media site in the world”, PokerNews, was officially confirmed, PokerNews.com since adding ‘small print’ to its articles, reading:
"The Stars Group owns a majority shareholding in iBus Media".
According to TorrentFreak’s version of events, PokerNews claims it ‘has taken steps to remove certain infringing content’, but the recent court filing refutes that statement.
A copy of the complaint, obtained by TorrentFreak, is available here (pdf).
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