There has been much legal debate recently regarding the unauthorized usage of copyrighted music/videos by social networking websites such as Myspace, YouTube, and now Imeen.
Imeen is a social networking website much like the concept of YouTube in which users can view and share content directly through the web without the need to download it. Users then may invite others to view and rate their playlists. Other features include a direct link to popular sites such as Myspace and Facebook. Users have access, through the playlist feature, to "vast libraries of copyrighted works," where they can stream full-length versions of these songs. This main attraction has made Imeen one of the "fastest growing sites on the internet," boasting
Four prominent record labels, that which include Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic Recording Corporation, Elecktra Entertainment Group, and Rhino Entertainment Company are claiming that Imeen is using this free streaming of full-length videos and songs as a means of luring new users. The claim states that Imeen has not received proper authorization from the labels or artists to use their works and the labels are demanding they pay up.
The involved record labels are seeking $150,00 per infringing work and an injunction. Some think Imeen may follow in the footsteps of its predecessors' trend of infringing first and then once the inevitable lawsuit hits, cut a licensing deal.
Leading Los Angeles entertainment attorney, Helen Yu, of Yu Leseberg, recommends if you are an artist you need to know your rights. Your music cannot be streamed on the internet without your awareness and authorization. Your music is a valuable asset that must be protected. It is the main attraction driving your career and if you have that being used freely by any of those who feel they have the right, you, as an artist, are on the losing end, unless you know your rights.