On November 16, 2018, Universal Music Group (UMG) and several other prominent music labels filed suit against iBus Media, the parent group for PokerNews and the PokerNews app, for alleged copyright infringement in a federal district court in California. The complaint alleges that iBus Media, through the PokerNews website and mobile application, committed various instances of copyright infringement by illegally playing music content on podcasts hosted through each service. UMG claims that the potential infringement occurred willfully and with knowledge of the illegal conduct. UMG claims to have brought this issue to the attention of iBus Media as early as December 2015 via a cease and desist letter.
Is musical copyright infringement common in podcasts?
This will be an interesting copyright case moving forward, and the facts have only begun to come out. Cases such as this sometimes settle before any real facts to come to light, but this could be a turning point for other podcasts that still use unlicensed music. Most podcasts use their own music, purchase licenses for music, or use royalty-free (public domain) music to illuminate their story telling. There are many ways to obtain music legally, and it is advisable to consult a legal professional before posting or using music if you are unsure of the legality of your sources.
For more information on this topic, view this article.
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