Freeplay Music Sues Four Multi-Channel Networks For Copyright Infringement
February 17, 2015 at 2:31 PM (PT)
Music licensing company FREEPLAY MUSIC INC. has filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NEW YORK against four prominent multi-channel video networks for using its copyrighted music without permission. The defendants include AWESOMENESS, LLC and its BIG FRAME, INC. subsidiary, whose majority owner is DREAMWORKS ANIMATION; DISNEY-owned MAKER STUDIOS, INC.; and RTL's BROADBANDTV CORP. The complaints allege that the defendants used FREEPLAY copyrights without authorization, and when FREEPLAY and music identification software firm TUNESAT approached the channels to work out a deal, the channels were unreceptive.
FREEPLAY attorney OREN WARSHAVSKY of BAKERHOSTETLER said, “FREEPLAY MUSIC was forced to bring these lawsuits in order to protect its rights, just as any other copyright owner in any other industry would do. The systemic misappropriation of its copyrights without authorization has harmed our client. And if this conduct continues unchecked, it will continue to harm FREEPLAY MUSIC and the hundreds of composers it represents. We seek to right that wrong through this action.”
“FREEPLAY MUSIC and TUNESAT worked together to identify an industry wide problem: MCNs are exploiting music without authorization," WARSHAVSKY added. "TUNESAT’s technology allowed FREEPLAY MUSIC to seek out and discover instances where its copyrights were being exploited. What they uncovered was various unauthorized uses of their copyrights by various MCNs. Together, FREEPLAY MUSIC and TUNESAT approached various MCNs about solving this problem. Ultimately, the MCNs were unreceptive and the unauthorized uses continued. Nearly all of the infringements are undisputed by the MCNs, rendering this conduct indefensible. Unfortunately, this willful copyright infringement demands court intervention, as FREEPLAY MUSIC must seek damages and other remedies.
FREEPLAY itself has been sued by MCNs MACHINIMA and COLLECTIVE DIGITAL STUDIO, alleging that FREEPLAY offered them music it said was free and then threatening to sue unless paid; FREEPLAY has denied those allegations.