Capitol, Other Big Record Labels File Court Motion Against Vimeo for Encouraging Copyright Violators

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In the past few years, YouTube has improved the way it deals with copyright issues while under pressure from the entertainment industry. They have made it easier for users to flag inappropriate videos, improved its ContentID program that identifies copyrighted works and educating creators on proper copyright practices.

But Capitol Records thinks there’s one other safe video-streaming haven for copyright infringers, and that place is Vimeo.

DigitalMusicNews.com reports that Capitol Records filed a motion in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York last week. The record company wants a summary judgment against the video-streaming site, arguing that they “knew, encouraged and facilitated” copyright violations.

Capitol Records said in its court filing: “Vimeo has actual and ‘red flag’ knowledge of infringing works on its system but refuses to remove them. It has constructed a system to remain willfully blind to infringement; it has the right and ability to control infringing content from which it financially benefits, it induces users to infringe music copyrights; and it fails to communicate or properly implement a repeat infringer policy or expeditiously remove infringing works.”

The Hollywood Reporter noted that Vimeo responded to Capitol Records’ claims in its own summary judgment motion, denying that they willfully allowed copyright violations to happen. They argued that with the large volume of video uploaded to the site daily, Vimeo “does not — and cannot — view every video uploaded by its users to attempt to determine whether it infringes a copyright or otherwise violates Vimeo’s terms of service.”

Capitol Records and Vimeo have been at heads since 2009, but a larger lawsuit by record companies against YouTube took precedence.

Like YouTube, Vimeo has takedown procedures for copyrighted content, but does not have the technological capabilities YouTube has to detect copyright and automatically remove videos. Instead, if a person has a copyright complaint about a video hosted by Vimeo, they have to contact the video owner, and then if that doesn’t work they must file a Digital Millenium Copyright Act notice to Vimeo either through their online claim form or by email.

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