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YouTube star sued for copyright to the tune of $150,000 per song

YouTube star sued for copyright to the tune of $150,000 per song
Mariella Moon
Mariella Moon|@mariella_moon|July 23, 2014 4:16 AM
judges gavel and law books...

Most YouTubers just get a takedown notice if someone reports them using copyrighted tunes with their videos. But when that user is a huge star on the video portal like make-up guru Michelle Phan, who has almost 7 million subscribers and was even featured on YouTube's TV ad campaign, then things get a bit more intense. Electronic dance record label Ultra Music (home to Deadmau5 and other popular artists of the genre) just slapped Phan with a copyright infringement lawsuit, which accuses her of using 50 tracks released under the company without permission. Ultra wants Phan to pay $150,000 for each instance, claiming she profited from its artists' music, most likely because 1.) she's a YouTube partner, and 2.) the fame she gained on the website eventually led to lucrative deals with cosmetics companies Lancôme and L'Oreal.

Phan's adamant that she didn't do anything wrong, though, and her spokesperson told the BBC that Ultra gave her permission to use the company's tracks as background music for her make-up tutorials. While we've yet to find out which side is telling the truth, one of the label's own artists, American DJ Kaskade, defended her and lambasted existing copyright laws on Twitter at the same time:

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YouTube star sued for copyright to the tune of $150,000 per song