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Tag: YouTube (1-7 of 7)

Viacom and Google settle YouTube lawsuit

Viacom says it’s settled its $1 billion copyright lawsuit against YouTube.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

New York-based Viacom Inc. filed the suit in 2007, claiming that YouTube was aware that thousands of videos on its site were stolen from its TV networks such as Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon.

Litigation dragged on for years, but a federal judge ruled last year that the online video site didn’t have to police itself as long as it removed infringing videos when copyright owners gave it notice.

Viacom and Google Inc., which bought YouTube in 2006, say the settlement reflects increasing talks between the two companies related to important opportunities.

YouTube ordered to take down anti-Muslim film

A U.S. appeals court ordered YouTube on Wednesday to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violent riots in parts of the Middle East and death threats to the actors.

The decision by a divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reinstated a lawsuit filed against YouTube by an actress who appeared briefly in the 2012 video that led to rioting and deaths because of its negative portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad.

YouTube resisted calls by President Barack Obama and other world leaders to take down the video, arguing that to do so amounted to unwarranted government censorship and would violate the Google-owned company’s free speech protections. Besides, the company argued that the filmmakers and not the actors of Innocence of Muslims owned the copyright and only they could remove it from YouTube.

And typically, that’s the case with the vast majority of clips posted on YouTube — and Hollywood in general — that don’t violate decency laws and policies. But the 9th Circuit said Wednesday that this case was far from typical and that the actress, Cindy Lee Garcia, retained a copyright claim that YouTube must respect. That’s because she believed she was acting in a different production than the one that ultimately appeared online.

“Had Ms. Garcia known the true nature of the propaganda film the producers were planning, she would never had agreed to appear in the movie,” said Cris Armenta, Garcia’s attorney.

Google argues that the actress had no claim to the film because filmmaker Mark Basseley Youssef wrote the dialogue, managed the entire production and dubbed over Garcia’s dialogue during postproduction editing.

Writing for the court, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said the ruling was not a blanket order giving copyright protection to every actor, but that in this case, Garcia’s performance was worthy of copyright protection.

“We need not and do not decide whether every actor has a copyright in his performance within a movie,” the judge wrote. “It suffices for now to hold that, while the matter is fairly debatable, Garcia is likely to prevail.”

Judge N. Randy Smith dissented, arguing that Garcia’s five-second appearance gave her no ownership claims.

“Her brief appearance in the film, even if a valuable contribution to the film, does not make her an author,” Smith wrote. “Indeed, it is difficult to understand how she can be considered an ‘inventive or master mind’ of her performance under these facts.”

Youssef, the filmmaker, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for check fraud in 2010 and barred from accessing the Internet without court approval. He was returned to prison in 2012 for violating terms of his probation and was released on probation in September 2013.

Garcia was paid $500 to appear for five seconds in a film she was told was called Desert Warrior that she thought had nothing to do with religion or radical Islam. When the clip was released, her lines were dubbed to have her character asking Muhammad if he was a child molester.

“This is a troubling case,” Kozinski wrote. “Garcia was duped into providing an artistic performance that was used in a way she never could have foreseen. Her unwitting and unwilling inclusion in Innocence of Muslims led to serious threats against her life. It’s disappointing, though perhaps not surprising, that Garcia needed to sue in order to protect herself and her rights.”

For Google, the ruling represents a nettlesome issue if allowed to stand. The company fears that bit players and extras appearing in popular clips will now be emboldened to send takedown notices to YouTube unless settlements can be reached with the filmmakers.

Google Inc., which has removed the clip, said it will appeal the decision to a special 11-judge panel of the appeals court. The next move after that would be to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

“We strongly disagree with this ruling and will fight it,” said Google spokeswoman Abbi Tatton.

Transgender YouTube star Domonique Newburn killed at 31

Authorities in San Bernardino County are investigating the slaying of a transgender woman and YouTube reality star who was found dead in her Fontana apartment.

Coroner’s officials said Wednesday that 31-year-old Domonique Newburn, whose birth name was Daymond Watford, had sustained trauma.

Newburn was found dead Tuesday after residents called police reporting a disturbance.

Police said witnesses reported seeing a man leaving Newburn’s apartment and taking off in a black Mercedes sedan, which may have belonged to Newburn. The car was found abandoned Wednesday at a San Bernardino park.

Newburn appeared under her stage name “Domonique Duffy” in the premiere episode of YouTube’s Hollywood Houseboys, a reality show about a group of young, black gay men trying to make it in the entertainment industry.

Russell Simmons sorry for Harriet Tubman sex video

Russell Simmons is apologizing for a parody video of Harriet Tubman in a sex tape that appeared on his All Def Digital YouTube channel.

The clip features an actress portraying Tubman having sex with her white slave master as someone films it so the abolitionist can bribe her boss. The Harriet Tubman Sex Tape video was posted Wednesday.

The 55-year-old Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records, writes Thursday that he “can now understand why so many people are upset.” He said he removed the video after a call from the NAACP.

Simmons adds that he doesn’t condone violence against women and that he’s “sincerely sorry” to those offended by the clip. Though Simmons removed the video, it still lives online.

YouTube star Talia Joy Castellano dies at 13 after public cancer battle

Talia Joy Castellano, the 13-year-old who offered makeup tips on YouTube to her more than 800,000 followers, lost a six-year battle with cancer on Tuesday, her family announced on their Angels for Talia Facebook page.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am,” the Facebook post read. “Please lift her beautiful soul, her beautiful light to heaven and please send your love and prayers to her family during this most difficult time. God speed little one, may you be free from pain and suffering, may your soul feel the light and love that you brought to so many of us on this Earth during the short time you were her with us. We will miss you more than you will ever know baby girl.”

Castellano reached an even wider audience when she appeared on Ellen and host Ellen DeGeneres made the makeup mega-fan an honorary CoverGirl.

With Roger Corman out front, YouTube readies launch of new pay-channels

Roger Corman’s campy B movies, children’s shows like Sesame Street and Inspector Gadget, and inspirational monologues by celebrities — these are among the offerings on 30 channels that will soon require a paid monthly subscription on YouTube.

Although the world’s largest video site has rented and sold movies and TV shows from major studios since late 2008, most people watch videos on YouTube for free.

It’s the first time YouTube is introducing all-you-can-watch channels that require a monthly fee. The least expensive of the channels will cost 99 cents a month but the average price is around $2.99.

In the field of paid video content online, YouTube is playing catch up to services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, all of which have millions of paying customers.

But with a billion monthly visitors from around the globe, the Google-owned video service hopes to quickly add subscribers and add to the money it already makes from online advertising.

“This is just the beginning,” said Malik Ducard, YouTube’s director of content partnerships. The site plans to roll out a way for a broad number of partners to also launch pay channels on their own soon. READ FULL STORY

Federal judge denies request by 'Innocence of Muslims' actress to have YouTube trailer removed

A local Los Angeles judge and now a federal court judge have denied a request by an actress in the controversial¬†Innocence of Muslims¬†film to have the movie’s 14-minute YouTube trailer removed.

United States District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald on Friday, following a Los Angeles Superior Court judge’s decision in September, struck down actress Cindy Lee Garcia’s motion for a preliminary injunction to take down the trailer, her attorney Cris Armenta announced in a press release. Garcia, who appears in Innocence of Muslims, claims she was duped and didn’t know the movie was a tirade against the prophet Muhammad. A court hearing previously set for Dec. 3 has been removed from the court’s calendar, according to the release.
READ FULL STORY

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