Video-Sharing Site Bolt.com Settles With Universal

  • Save

Video-sharing destination Bolt.com has now resolved a major legal rift involving Universal Music Group. According to the New York Times, the site will pay Universal several million dollars to close the action, first initiated in October of last year. This is a significant development for Bolt, which had been embroiled in a heated legal battle with Universal over copyright infringement allegations.

Bolt chief executive Aaron Cohen revealed the settlement, and also pointed to a buyout agreement involving GoFish, a firm specialized in multimedia search and video aggregation. That deal involves the transfer of $30 million in GoFish stock, a sum that will help to pay for the UMG action as well as other major label suits. “This deal is economically painful to Bolt shareholders,” Cohen told the Times. “It is setting a precedent that companies that violate copyright at minimum risk litigation.” The settlement not only covers past violations, it also includes a per-unit payment on future Universal uploads.

The resolution of this legal dispute between Bolt and Universal marks a turning point in the ongoing battle between content creators and video-sharing platforms. For years, major media companies have been locked in a struggle to protect their intellectual property from online piracy. While some platforms have taken steps to curb copyright infringement, others have been slower to act. This has led to a string of lawsuits, with media companies seeking to hold video-sharing platforms accountable for the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted content.

The result now puts the focus on Grouper, a video destination that was also targeted by Universal last year. Perhaps more importantly, it also adds critical momentum to a Universal-led action against MySpace, a company that recently unveiled a filtering mechanism that will place limitations on copyrighted videos. The solution will be crafted by Audible Magic, according to information confirmed by the social networking giant. “For MySpace, video filtering is about protecting artists and the work they create,” said Chris DeWolfe, MySpace co-founder and chief executive.

Elsewhere, YouTube is also busily working on a filtering initiative, though progress details have been elusive. The solution was widely expected by year end, and delays have generated take-down demands from Viacom. These developments signal a growing recognition among video-sharing platforms that they must take responsibility for the content that appears on their sites.

As video-sharing platforms continue to evolve, one thing is clear: the need for strong copyright protections has never been greater. With so much content being created and distributed online, it is more important than ever to ensure that creators are fairly compensated for their work. While legal battles will undoubtedly continue, the recent settlement between Bolt and Universal serves as a reminder that companies must take copyright infringement seriously.

In the end, it is up to all of us to support a fair and sustainable ecosystem for content creation and distribution. As consumers, we have a responsibility to respect the rights of creators and to support platforms that prioritize copyright protection. And as technology continues to advance, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to keep pace with the changing landscape of online media.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.