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Warner sues smart TV company Future Today

By | Published on Friday 16 February 2018

Warner Music

Warner Music has sued a tech company called Future Today over allegations it is making music available via smart TVs without the correct licences.

US-based Future Today describes itself as “a video technology and distribution company that helps content creators distribute and monetise their content on the web, mobile devices, and connected TV platforms”. It adds that its clients “range from independent YouTube channels to media companies syndicating content to television networks”.

In its lawsuit against the firm, Warner takes issue with various channels Future Today seemingly operates that feature music videos and footage of live music. The dispute seems to centre on song rights owned by Warner, which suggest the offending videos contain plenty of cover and live versions, as well as officially released recordings.

The legal filing says: “[The] defendant has built its business in large part on the unlawful reproduction, distribution and public performance of hundreds, if not thousands, of plaintiffs’ copyrighted musical compositions, which are featured in the videos distributed by and through defendant’s services”.

It goes on: “Defendant additionally promotes its channels to potential consumers, monitors the viewership of content available through its channels, and monetises that content by pairing it with advertisements”.

The increase in people streaming content off the internet onto smart TVs via an assortment of wifi-enabled plug-in devices has become a top piracy gripe for the movie and TV industries of late. They have taken particular umbrage at smart TV gizmos that come pre-loaded with apps linking to illegal sources of content.

This case suggests the music industry is now also increasingly looking at the growth in smart TV usage, and where those smart TV users are getting their music.



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