Universal, whose artists include U2, Mary J Blige and Mariah Carey, said it is seeking damages up to as much as $150,000 for each incident of copyright infringement plus costs. It estimated that thousands of music videos were being viewed on both sites, to their benefit alone.
While YouTube rushes into the arms of Google's legal resources, the major labels will clearly work to create favorable precedent by separating the little guys from the pack and sicking their lawyers on them. Thus Bolt.
Suing Grouper is a fun way for UMG to watch how Sony's infamous internal conflicts resolve themselves.
But, more than anything, this could point to the potential for collective licensing that impacts online video. A compulsory regime was extended to ringtones just today. It will be interesting to see if the online video players can get organized quickly enough to provide leverage against label entreaties here.