Warner Drops Imeem Lawsuit
July 12, 2007 at 11:11 AM (PT)
Social media network IMEEM and WARNER MUSIC GROUP today (7/12) announced a strategic partnership in which WMG's catalog of audio and video content will be made available to IMEEM users in NORTH AMERICA. In connection with this partnership, WMG dismissed its lawsuit against IMEEM.
The suit, originally filed in the U.S. District Court in LOS ANGELES in MAY (NET NEWS 5/16), contended that the social networking upstart was infringing upon WMG copyrights. According to the complaint, the media-focused IMEEM blatantly allowed illegal duplication and sharing, and encouraged infringement through its networking features.
Since that point, IMEEM has teamed with SNOCAP to launch a revenue-sharing platform. The concept, announced late JUNE, tightens sharing restrictions and shares revenues with participating labels. IMEEM launched the initiative with a number of independents on board, including BEGGARS GROUP, MATADOR and XL RECORDINGS, as well as digital distributors like IODA and THE ORCHARD. The introduction of WARNER represents the first major label participant, and potentially the first of several similar deals. IMEEM CEO DALTON CALDWELL informed THE WALL STREET JOURNAL that other major labels are actively being courted.
"Music is a central part of the social network experience and a core part of the rich user experience for IMEEM's rapidly growing community," said WMG EVP/Digital Strategy & Business Development ALEX ZUBILLAGA. "This deal provides an opportunity to unleash the value of music on one of the world's leading social networks by giving fans an environment where they can discover and share new music. It also opens the door for imeem and WMG to develop new strategies and products that will help introduce a more vibrant media marketplace to the social networking environment."
CALDWELL said, "Our strategic partnership with WARNER MUSIC GROUP represents a very significant milestone for IMEEM -- we are now able to offer our users an impressive level of free, interactive, and ad-supported access to an amazing catalog of both audio and video from a major record label. We are excited to explore innovative digital opportunities together with WARNER MUSIC GROUP and drive cool new ways of connecting online fans directly with artists and their music."