NMPA Sues YouTube Network Fullscreen, Announces Settlement with Maker Studios on Similar Copyright Issues

August 6, 2013


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) today filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Fullscreen, Inc. (Fullscreen), a Multi-Channel Network (MCN) behind some of YouTube’s most popular channels, for its illegal use of unlicensed musical works.  Fullscreen is a multi-million dollar company that produces, markets, promotes and exploits videos, including music videos, on YouTube.  Fullscreen directly profits from advertising revenue generated by unlicensed music videos on their channels but does not compensate songwriters or music publishers.

NMPA and Maker Studios (Maker), another large MCN, have agreed in principle to a settlement regarding similar copyright issues.  Once finalized, NMPA’s settlement with Maker will enable music publishers and their songwriting partners to be compensated for past infringement and license Maker going forward.

“The problem of copyright infringement and unlicensed use of music is endemic to the MCN industry,” said David Israelite, NMPA president and CEO. “Fullscreen’s success and growth as a digital business is attributable in large part to the prevalence and popularity of its unlicensed music videos. We must stop the trend of ignoring the law, profiting from someone else’s work, then asking forgiveness when caught.  It is not only unfair, it is unacceptable.”

Comprised largely of cover song videos, MCN channels represent a significant number of the total views on YouTube, with the largest MCNs receiving hundreds of millions of video views each month.  Fullscreen alone has 15,000 YouTube channels with more than 200 million subscribers and averages 36 million viewers responsible for 284 million video views per month in the U.S.   As one of the largest MCNs who regularly engage in the illegal use of music, they are the focus of NMPA's action.   Today’s lawsuit is a signal to the industry that copyright infringement and unlicensed use of works in videos must stop.

“We must build a digital marketplace that can thrive and give music fans what they want, when they want it.  Ignoring the law should not be allowed as a business model,” Israelite said.

The lawsuit and settlement announcement are part of NMPA’s continuing effort to ensure songwriters and their music publishing partners are compensated fairly and that their rights are protected.

About the NMPA

Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights.