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YouTube Refuses To Remove 20,000 Copyrighted Tracks

A music rights organisation has threatened to take action against YouTube on the behalf of major stars such as Pharrell Williams and The Eagles. Global Music Rights (GMR), which was established in 2013 by Irving Azoff, claims that the Google-owned video sharing website doesn’t have the correct licences in place.

Recently, The Hollywood Reporter detailed how YouTube had refused to remove 20,000 videos even though take down notices had been sent and in November, Howard King, a lawyer for GMR sent a letter to YouTube requesting that the songs be taken down due to its “failure to obtain public performance licenses” and states that each time that one of the songs is played it constitutes a “wilful copyright infringement”.

The legal letter, which is available to view on Scribd, also requests that if YouTube does have the correct licenses required to broadcast the songs that a copy is forwarded of the documents as confirmation.

Now, a lawyer for Pharrell Williams has written to YouTube urging the site to take down the videos or face the possibility of a $1 billion lawsuit, however, lawyers are still keen to settle the dispute out of court.

Azoff told the Hollywood Reporter that they had taken the action against YouTube "Because they are the ones that have been least cooperative and the company our clients feel are the worst offenders.”

In response to the legal threats, a lawyer for Google, David Kramer, wrote to GMR stating:

"This is now your third attempt to circumvent the straightforward DMCA notice-and-takedown process that Congress devised to handle situations like this."

The letter went on to request that GMR forward the details of the infringing URLs as well as issuing a statement indicating that they have permission to act on behalf of the artists. However, lawyer Howard King told The Hollywood Reporter "This will result in someone blinking, and if it is not them, there will be a billion-dollar copyright infringement lawsuit filed.”

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