YouTube has always had issues with Copyright Infringement, but they've been working to fix that lately. Typically if you upload a video which they think is infringing on someone else's stuff, you get a take down notice and the chance to appeal the decision, if you feel that the take down was in error. Which is pretty standard and most people that have a YouTube channel know all about this. However, for one YouTuber, it looks like it's going a bit further than that. Ultra Records says that Michelle used 50 of their songs in various videos, without the proper permission from the company. Ultra Records is looking for $150k per incident, which that adds up pretty quickly, especially at 50 videos.
For those that don't know, Michelle Phan has a make up channel, which has over 6 million viewers with over 977 million views. So she's by no means a small YouTuber, but she does have quite the following, and some of her followers are already showing their support to her. According to Social Blade, it looks like the channel brings in between $12.4 and $98.9k per month. Phan's spokesperson argues that she did nothing wrong and that Ultra Records gave her permission to use their music.
"Ultra agreed to allow Michelle to use the music and Michelle intends to fight this lawsuit and bring her own claims against Ultra," Phan's spokesperson told BBC this week. "Michelle's intention has always been to promote other artists, creating a platform for their work to be showcased to an international audience. Kaskade, whose music has been featured in Michelle's videos, has publicly defended Michelle against Ultra's claims and acknowledges the success he's gained from her support."
It's one of those things that can happen with YouTube. So be careful when you're uploading videos and make sure there's no music in the background or at all, and if there is be sure it's your music. Or get the permission in writing. For those interested, here is Michelle Phan's YouTube Channel.