Warner Music Group became the latest major label to sue a social-networking site on Tuesday, when it went to court with a complaint against the imeem, which allows users to share audio and video streams. No word on the exact amount of damages WMG is seeking, but judging by the damages it’s looking for per unauthorized usage, we’re imagining the tally is pretty high:
The record company seeks a court order to stop imeem from using Warner Music content on its site, and unspecified damages, including up to $150,000 for each unauthorized music video or song posted on the Web site.
In its complaint, Warner claims imeem invites “millions of users to flock to its Web site to copy, adapt, distribute and perform unlicensed sound recordings and musicvideos.”
The record company also contends imeem’s operators have deliberately refrained from using technology to prevent its users from sharing content.
“Imeem itself directly engages in much of the infringing conduct by duplicating, adapting, distributing and performing Plaintiff’s works through imeem’s own servers,” the lawsuit states.
WMG’s suit against imeem joins Universal Music Group’s suit against MySpace in the “labels vs. social networks” arena, although truth be told, we didn’t really know imeem did much else aside from allowing sites to embed streaming media. Whether or not infringement-fighting initiatives like MySpace’s “Take Down, Stay Down” will accelerate these lawsuits being settled out of court is unclear, but we’re pretty sure one thing: The founders of Friendster are probably pretty happy right now that they didn’t get into the music game, since they can now spend less money on lawyers and more money on … well, whatever they’re doing now that their site’s turned into something of a ghost town. (A ghost town that sends us a lot of e-mails, but still.)
Warner Music sues social-networking site [Variety]