Michelle Phan and Kaskade Speak Out Against Ultra Records…

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Makeup vlogger Michelle Phan has responded to Ultra Records’ copyright infringement lawsuit.

Michelle Phan is one of the most popular YouTube personalities. She has over 6.5 million subscribers, and her videos have up to 50 million views each. Phan has appeared in advertising campaigns, and has released a book and a makeup line. Cosmopolitan claims that Phan made $5 million in 2013, largely due to endorsement deals.

Ultra’s official complaint says that Phan willfully copied, altered, publicly performed, and distributed music that they own the rights to. Ultra says Phan monetizes the videos containing their music through ads. The label says they informed Phan that she was using their music without a license, and that she continued to infringe. In the complaint, Ultra says that Phan responded to a DMCA takedown notice with a counter-notification. Now, Ultra is seeking $150,000 for each song used.

Phan’s spokesperson told the BBC that Ultra’s complaint “lacks any merit,” saying:

“Ultra agreed to allow Michelle to use the music and Michelle intends to fight this lawsuit and bring her own claims against Ultra… 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.”

Ultra’s lawsuit revolves almost exclusively around Kaskade’s music.  Thirteen of the 45 songs listed in the lawsuit are the sole work of Kaskade. Two songs are collaborations between Kaskade and deadmau5, and one song is a collaboration between Kaskade and Project 46. Twenty seven of the songs are by Late Night Alumni, a group comprised of Kaskade, Finn Bjarnson, John Hancock, and Becky Jean Williams.  The remaining two songs are by Haley, who frequently collaborates with Kaskade.

As I pointed out in my first story on this lawsuit, Kaskade wrote a blog post exactly one month ago.  In this post, Kaskade explained that he sold the rights to his music to Ultra, and that these songs now belong to Sony. Kaskade can’t post these songs to his SoundCloud page because they are automatically taken down. Kaskade went on to say that record labels aren’t adapting, that they’re clinging to copyright law that wasn’t made for the digital age:

“The laws that are governing online music share sites were written at a time when our online and real-life landscapes were totally different. Our marching orders are coming from a place that’s completely out of touch and irrelevant. They have these legal legs to stand on that empower them to make life kind of a pain-in-the-ass for people like me. And for many of you. Countless artists have launched their careers though mash ups, bootlegs, remixes and music sharing. These laws and page takedowns are cutting us down at the knees.”

Kaskade voiced his support for Michelle Phan on Twitter:


Ultra Records’ filed complaint is below.

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Read the rest of the complaint here.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

77 Responses

  1. Chris H

    So idiot signs a deal, not knowing and/or fully agreeing with what it said and is now upset the label is doing it’s duty and protecting the works? He would prefer she take all the money, he continue “inspiring” pro bono and the world change it’s copyright laws.


    • Nina Ulloa

      read his blog post. he knew and fully agreed, he’s just calling out their practices.

      • Anonymous

        Why do you keep discussing this guy? 🙂 He’s not relevant as he doesn’t own any of the songs.

        Back on topic:

        * Does Phan have a written permission from the owner to use the songs commercially?

        * When did Google know about Ultra’s complaints?

        • Anonymous

          Oops, YouTube’s problems are getting worse by the hour:

          “The head of YouTube’s effort to launch a music subscription service is leaving, marking yet another hurdle for the long-delayed project.”

          SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

          • Anonymous


            “LaRosa is the second person in charge of YouTube’s music service to leave over the past 12 months. The other, Nikhil Chandhok, left last fall according to his LinkedIn profile. Chandhok was a director in charge of music, paid subscriptions and live streaming, according to the profile.

            Both departures resulted in part from frustrations that YouTube has been unable to launch its music subscription service in the year-plus since the first version of it was developed, according to a person familiar the matter.

            Those delays have resulted from internal arguments about how the service should be designed, including what features YouTube should charge users for and how the service should be integrated with the rest of YouTube.


            Delays in launching the app, which Google has said it expects to launch in the next few months, could complicate future negotiations over music licensing. At least some of YouTube’s existing license agreements, signed with major record labels in late 2012, require the company to launch a successful music service, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.


            Some independent labels have complained that YouTube is pushing for cut-rate licensing deals with them and have refused to sign on, another roadblock for YouTube’s subscription service.

            It’s not clear who will be leading efforts to launch the subscription service after LaRosa’s departure.”

            SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

            Here’s an exerpt from Google’s controversial contract that caused the recent licensing problems:

            “Catalogue Commitment and Monetization. It is understood that as of the Effective Date and throughout the Term, Provider’s entire catalogue of Provider Sound Recordings and Provider Music Videos (including Provider Music Videos delivered via a third party) will be available for the Premium and Free Services for use in connection with each type of Relevant Content, (excluding AudioSwap Recordings, which will be at Provider’s option) and set to a default policy of Monetize for both the Premium and Free Services, except as otherwise set forth in this Agreement. Further, Provider will provide Google with the same Provider Sound Recordings and Provider Music Videos on the same day as it provides such content to any other similarly situated partners. The foregoing will be subject to reasonable quantity of limited-time exclusive promotional offers (in each case, with a single third party partner) (“Limited Exclusives”), as long as a) Provider provides Google with comparable exclusive promotional offers and b) the quantity and duration of such Limited Exclusives do not frustrate the intent of this Agreement.”

            Artists could not sign because it would make their entire catalogs available for free on YouTube on release day — online AND off-line — which means that fans no longer would have any reason to buy their favorite music. And selling music is essential to most professional artists (streaming revenues only account for a very small percentage of their income).

            All in all: YouTube’s Content ID is dead, and Google’s proposed music video service failed.

            So the music world needs a YouTube replacement as soon as possible.

          • Anonymous

            “Those delays have resulted from internal arguments about how the service should be designed, including what features YouTube should charge users for and how the service should be integrated with the rest of YouTube.”

            And these internal Google arguments emphasize why YouTube Music was destined to fail from the start:

            1) The free YouTube is dead if Google removes any of its content or functions.
            2) The subscription service is dead unless Google removes content and functions from the free version.

            Nobody wants to pay for a subscription service unless it offers something unique that the free version doesn’t have, and ad-free streaming doesn’t seem to be enough.

          • Anonymous

            Also in the Wall Street Journal today:

            The reason, Google decided not to buy Spotify was that Spotify asked for three times more than the market value — and because Larry Page isn’t enthusiastic about subscription entertainment services! 🙂

            Perhaps that’s why YouTube Music failed.

          • Anonymous

            “LaRosa is the second person in charge of YouTube’s music service to leave over the past 12 months”

            Here’s what Christopher LaRosa has to say about himself on linkedin:

            Experienced product manager with a track record of high-impact, well-received product launches. 🙂

  2. G.D.

    Clown. He sells his music, pockets the proceeds, and then behaves as if he has the money *and* the rights. Wonder if does that when he sells a car…

    • Nina Ulloa

      since when is commenting on ways the shitty state of the industry could be improved “behaving as if he has the rights”?

      • G.D.

        He sold his songs willingly and now he’s whining about it. His self-serving, specious claims (they’re making life a “pain in the ass” for “people like him” ) lack backup. “Our marching orders are coming from a place that’s completely out of touch and irrelevant”? Really, why? Is it “out of touch” to defend your rights to something you own? Hardly “irrelevant.” Ridiculous.

        • Versus

          Exactly. The hypocrisy is so obvious it’s stunningly shameless.

    • Vanessa

      I’m a female from Canada and found Miguels supporters to be the work of sad lonely men. it seems to me that misogynist men are traveling from city to city in Canada with high hopes for a woman to just merely look your way and clearly that is not happening for them. They’re ignorant and the way they speak about women is extremely offensive.

      Miguel needs to be quarantined from the rest of the population

  3. Justin Mayer

    Shocking, another artist sells out their rights and then lies to his fans about what is really going on!

    Of course he takes her side, its the cool thing to do, it makes him look honest and caring to his and her fans, it makes them appear to be for the people and in line with this whole free thingy, it does the old divide and conquer thing that the industry loves to do, it coincides with the whole evil label ethos that is still hot right now.

    God forbid this guy takes his own labels side or the pro rights side, ya know, the side that someone like William Wallace would have been on, the one where you stand up for your fucking rights, for your FREEDOM!

    Kaskade in this instance is like King Bruce, backstabbing the real freedom fighters, all to help perpetuate these other businesses, businesses who are likely propping them up anyways or who will be soon, SURPRISE!

    Same old boring lame shit! Hardly any artists step the fuck up and lay it out like Lars did, instead they lie to their cattle all so they can hopefully garner a few new fans who will come out of their pocket or add to the numbers so they can leverage sponsors and corps for a few more dollars in their pocket…

    I respect you Lars for being like the first artist to really step up like that, gained a lot of respect from me fore that, thank-you for not being afraid to kick it real…

    I’m all for people sharing my music for free, i’d never sue any of my fans for downloading a couple songs, but don’t think for a millisecond i’d let someone use my music for free who pockets $5 Milly a year without me getting my fair share of something.

    Real tired of this shit! Kaskade and Phan perpetuating this garbage to dreamers who saturate the market with their shit because they buy into these peoples shit, further devaluing the property value for the rest of us, awesome, thanks a lot!! …

    I want fucking free rent, free food, free insurance, free transportation, free clothing, free gas, free toiletries, free from wearing a collar or chains, i dont give a fuck about free music or supposedly free tech things to supposedly give me free promotion tools while others make a killing off it…

    Scam city…


    • Miguel

      The artists won’t go against the Vlogger because she is a model, and criticizing a female model in USA and Canada is considered “misogynist”.

      • GGG

        Dude, we get it, you just got dumped so all women suck. Next topic.

      • Vanessa

        Speaking of over entitled… have you considered the fact, that you are the one over entitled… that Canadian women are educated, ambitious and beautiful, can attract quality guys and therefore easily reject garbage pieces of meat… that this actually shows they are empowered and have more attractive options available, than in settling for your void of misogynist rantings…

        Have you considered… All men in general have an over inflated sense of entitlement, although more pronounced in other places of the world, thinking it’s alright to even talk about women this way, like they were mere objects. And to commend each other for banging girls in every continent. Your mother and sisters would be super proud… I don’t know… maybe in your family you like to bang each other you barbaric doofus.

        Have you considered… that someone having standards is not a bad thing… it means when a Canadian girl chooses you, you are special, because she has the capability to choose freely… and that all those girls from the other countries… who smile at you… will smile, be nice to, and do… every single guy… yup, real special, real nice, and real nice way to catch a disease because the foreign women are diseased because of poor healthcare.

        In Canada, women have access to better healthcare and nutrition. Our bodies develop better, our butts and breasts are fuller and firmer and we are more classy than some illiterate third world women who you look for to exploit.

        • Nina Ulloa

          i was with you during the first paragraph… then you just got racist

          • Anonymous

            I think ‘Miguel’ and ‘Vanessa’ have the same IP-address. 🙂

            You don’t usually see an anti-feminist nutcase and a racist nutcase in the same thread…

          • hippydog

            ya,, but then on the other hand, there ARE some real nutcases out there 😉

          • Hoodgrown

            She didn’t get “racist” she got “sexist”

    • Nina Ulloa

      Ultra and Sony are the “freedom fighters”?


    • andre

      Get a grip man, this has nothing to do with “freedom” as the term is (mis)used by right-wing douchebags.

      Kaskade has the freedom to sell his songs, and he also has the freedom to voice his support for Michelle Phan.

  4. Miguel

    These ungrateful artists are biting the hand that feeds them. If it wasn’t for Ultra the artists would not have become successful.

    What a shame that just because the accused is a model, she gets no wrong in anything. Does this in any way relate to the numerous acquittals of female accused in criminal law, family law, digital law, civil law?

    • Vanessa

      stfu retarded douche….. I don’t think the problem is Canadian or american women. I imagine you to be an ugly creep that walks up with the obvious intention of only getting laid & treating women like objects you scum. No game, no charm, no career and no looks to make up for the lack of either.

      No wonder you didn’t get laid, ugmo. You are an inferior and degenerate man. Look at yourself in the mirror & ask yourself if you can continue living a life of misogyny. The world will be a better place without men like yourself.

      • Hoodgrown

        wtf is wrong with you two? This isn’t a Canadian vs. American forum. Who the f**k cares?

        • hippydog

          I’m guessing a Troll.. Same person trying to start a battle.. or two trolls who like to play together..

  5. Justin Mayer

    i love models man and models love me!

    My fans are mostly women/girls, many of whom are models, im just not afraid to lose fans by talking about some real shit.

    That doesn’t mean they are free from me going at them if i don’t agree with something they say or do, and it does not lower the level of love i have for them because i might call them out on some things that are business related…


    • Vanessa

      who the f*** are you to leer at women and objectify them? f***ing perverted scum! Do you look at pictures of 3 year toddlers you friggin pervert!

      • andre

        wow you’re rather unhinged for a person defending a vlogger who dedicates her life to helping women beautify their outward appearance . . .

  6. Anonymous

    It goes without saying that both parts should be heard. And it would be terrifying if Ultra were accusing Phan for something she didn’t do.

    But it doesn’t make any difference if Phan sent counter-notifications all day long if she stole the songs in the first place.

    It’s all very simple:

    Either she has a written permission from the owner to use the songs commercially — or she doesn’t.

    As for Kaskade:

    He sold the songs, Nina. That means he doesn’t own them anymore. Get it? 🙂

    • Nina Ulloa

      He’s still allowed to comment on the label’s practices if he doesn’t agree with them. Get it? 🙂

      • JTVDigital

        Yes, this is called Moral Rights. Not very common in “Copyright countries” but still strong in Europe / all countries who adhered to the Rome convention.
        So he can still tell if he disagrees his label’s practices and might be able to act on that case by referring to his moral rights.

        • Anonymous

          He doesn’t own the music so his opinion isn’t relevant.

          Here’s how it works:

          * Phan is going to lose if she doesn’t have a written permission from the owner to use the songs commercially.
          * Google is liable for infringement if it were aware of legitimate complaints but failed to react.

          This is what we need to know if Ultra’s accusations are correct:
          a) How common is this problem on YouTube today?
          b) How many white-listed YouTube channels are allowed to bypass Content ID?
          c) How many of these white-listed channels use illegal content commercially?
          d) Are these channels systematically ignoring takedown notices?
          e) How long has this been going on?
          f) What did Google know?
          g) When did Google know?
          h) How could YouTube avoid getting caught?
          i) What will happen now?

          • Anonymous

            Moral rights are irrevocable. They belong to the original creator alone and can’t be transferred or suppressed by any contract.

          • Anonymous

            …and they’re obviously not relevant in the US in the context of copyright.

            Back on topic:

            Did Phan obtain a written permission from the owner to use the songs commercially?

            And when did Google know about Ultra’s complaints?

        • Anonymous

          He could probably sue the label in France. In France, a publisher can not take any action that the original creator finds objectionable even if they own the copyright. In the USA this is not the case.

    • Vanessa

      you’re a stupid f**king douchebag who can’t get laid. keep complaining about it like your friend Miguel, it seems like it looks good on you. Such a terribel thing to hate on North American women. I hope you suffer a sexless life. P.S. My butt got a little bigger and my bf respects me & I let him eat me whenever he wants 🙂

      • an opportunity to learn

        North American women don’t have to respect the constitution or the law because they are North American or because they are women?

        You really need to talk about this with your school teacher some day.

  7. Anonymous

    Could it be that GGG is referring to the music industry as some girl and because she is now with some other dude, wall street tech 1%ers etc. that she has in fact dumped somebody in this discussion?

    I mean i get yall need to do that, i also get that the music biz and show biz is so used to being a heart-breaker, but i’ve never dated that bitch that is for sure!

    IME she is the dumbest bitch around and an adulterer at that, wanting some monogamous commitment, offering up a one sided unfair prenup where no dowry exists, all while she spreads her leg exposing that nasty old withered stinky pussy to whatever dude has a dollar bill to throw at her…

    Not my kind of woman…


    • Anonymous

      I guess you’re the price we have to pay for an uncensored site…

    • GGG

      No, sorry, referring to an actual human being that either dumped or didn’t reciprocate feelings toward Miguel. Only way to explain every one of his posts having some anti-women sentiment. Either that or he’s one of those men’s rights douchebags. Or both.

    • Vanessa

      Dude..you’re F***KED in the head…you got no game that’s your issue…US and Canada have some of the hottest chicks..and yeah model girls rock, they probably didn’t like you’re weak ass game you brought..Go back to Iraq and multiply with your cousins, you inbred prick!!

      God’s chosen land should clear out Gaza and the rest of the Arab countries. Less misogynists and religious zealots, better for women and equality.

  8. Vanessa

    Miguel, maybe you’re just frustrated that you keep getting turned away by girls you find attractive. As a poser, shouldn’t you pick up your game? If your game doesn’t work on whom you want it to work on, maybe it just sucks and you should reconsider your dating strategies.

    Just because a woman turns you down, it doesn’t mean she’s a b****, h**, sk***. You’re the common denominator in all your little anecdotes, so it’s quite possible that you’re the *******.

  9. Vanessa

    Actually, Canadian and American women have taste and self-respect.

    So Miguel should spend more of his time developing some self-respect. Maybe he won’t resort to his pitiful misogynist ramblings.

    The Mens rights retards are angry that they are inferior and worthless to respect women.

  10. Paul Resnikoff

    Amazing to see this split in music industry self-interest emerging. If you go to Kaskade’s YouTube playlist, the first thing you see is a overlay promoting an upcoming Kaskade tour date.

    Get it?

    Kaskade makes millions on tour, and recordings drive crowds to those shows. In fact, that’s the EDM game (not to mention other genres)! I guess my favorite DJs have albums, sure. But who’s buying them, cataloging them, or even keeping track of them? I can’t even keep track of the music pouring out of my favorite DJs… it’s a steady drizzle!

    The only problem is that if you’re on the label, recording, and publishing side, you don’t like the new food chain!

    [now back to eating popcorn…]

    • Anonymous

      “Amazing to see this split in music industry self-interest emerging”

      It’s just the beginning, and it’s going to get ugly.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Paul, might be wise to add some kind of comment voting/moderation system to the site, especially because you and the authors are so active in the conversation. Hard to take things seriously over the noise here.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        That’s been on the table for some time. A simple thumbs up system to start, or maybe something that pushes the best comments upward.

        I’m inclined to stick with a simple thumbs up system to protect the more organic nature of the discussion. There are weeds in the garden, for sure, but oh it’s alive!

      • Anonymous

        “might be wise to add some kind of comment voting/moderation system to the site”

        Is that really necessary? I don’t think spam is much of a problem here (today is an exception 🙂 ).

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I’m assuming he gave (verbally or in writing) Michelle the non-exclusive right to use the songs while he still owned them and then later sold all the rights to the same songs to Ultra without telling Ultra about the prior license.

      I think we’re starting to edge closer to what might have happened here. The patchwork of rights is so insanely complicated, perhaps Phan thought she had the rights because they were misrepresented as such. If only we had a central, unified and reliable way for everyone to check who really has the rights to all compositions, worldwide.

      Oh, yeah…

      DMN: “Global Repertoire Database Declared a Global Failure…”


    • andre

      oh COME ON!

      You’re really going to blame Kaskade for the possible lack of dilligence by Ultra’s or Michelle Phan’s lawyers? It’s not Kaskade’s job to ensure that licenses/permissions are transferred along with the sale. Did Ultra’s lawyer’s fire off a cease&desist to Phan and DMCA take-downs to YouTube? How did those respective parties react to those notices? I’m no Kaskade fanboy but -whether he’s right or wrong- he’s well within in his rights to comment on the futility of over-protective copyright enforcement and as you said “If Ultra was smart, they would have had in their sale agreement a requirement on the part of Kaskade to reveal all prior licenses”. Michelle Phan is doing $5M per year in business? And her lawyer never thought to check whether written licenses were in place for the music she uses?

  11. smg77

    Good for them. I hope they stick it to the greedy label.

    • Anonymous

      Um, so people are ‘greedy’ when they complain about theft?

      What do you do if thieves steal from you? Turn the other cheek?


  12. Anonymous

    cool thanks GGG…

    My comment still works for other things so no worries.

    Miguel is what Miguel is, there are no men without women 😉

  13. Anonymous

    I love how Kaskade sells the publishing rights to his music via “dinosaur” copyright then goes on to belittle the importance of copyright. Bitching about copyright after utilizing copyright to pocket all that label money is a joke. Zero credibility. He wants to have his cake and eat it too.

    The man is a hypocrite.

  14. an opportunity+to+learn

    Paul, there is a thing called “IP blacklist”, I highly advise you to ask your web administrator about it, unless you want your blog to turn into a troll arena from the YouTube personas’ followers…

  15. 2Phunny

    Kaskade is so fake angry! Fight the power! Unfortunately, he’s already earmarked all the $$$ that Ultra paid him for cars, houses and yachts.

    Look over there, not over here!


  16. hippydog

    This should be interesting (grabs popcorn)
    I’m still waiting too see if Google/Youtube is gonna chime in on this.. You would think they would want to, as if this goes sideways it might affect there service..

    on the other hand..
    It kinda blows my mind that as she became more successful, NO ONE thought to actually garner the rights to the music she was using? really? 5 mil in income and not ONE fracking person thought to hire a manager or something that actually has a clue!

    If it turns out that
    a.) she took full monetization of the video (which should not have happened with content ID)
    b.) content ID did work but she directly said to youtube that she had the rights (which means she basically lied)
    C.) she never actually tried to get permission to use the music (she just assumed it was OK cause she was “promoting”)

    A+B+C = means ultra is able to take her for everything she owns..
    and is this scenario I have to side 100% with Ultra.. They have a right to protect their ownership and copyright.

    sadly, from a public relations standpoint.. it could get pretty messy for them.. (if this girl is an idiot and tries to fight it)

    My prediction?
    There will be a very quick “undisclosed agreement” with her paying a nice amount..

  17. Anonymous

    The best part of this, the absolute greatest thing about this, Michelle Phan and Kaskade will be and are the victims. There will be an outpouring, a crying parade of supporters, picketing in front of capital hill for their release, to be treated well. Someone quick start a donation jar to help with their suffering and pain and anguish they will receive through this ordeal. Sure they already have millions, but with such disrespect to them, for being such victims in this crime, perhaps we can give them our food and rent money so that they can go buy some chin chilla to help ease their pain.

    I really want to know when people are going to get this passionate, this vigorous, about fighting for and defending free rent and free food etc.???? They sure will fight for free music, something that costs so little and can be shared legally in many jurisdictions, but never ever do you see them step up and fight for something that might actually really help people.

    Anyways, seems like nothing more then 2014 Music Industry Marketing 101. This boosts all 3 of them, gets a whole bunch of people talking about all 3 of them, gets them clicking, invigorates passions and divides and solidifies each fan-base etc. etc. It’s a win-win-win, and you will likely start seeing even more of this kind of stuff.

    For all we know Ultra and Michelle and Kaskade are hitting the web with algorithms as we speak exploiting even just us talking about it.

    Likely completely set up and manipulated, probably in some board room somewhere, trying to find new ways to market and advertise that don’t seem overly gimmicky.

    Who knows though, they are clearly the experts, as evidenced by their gargantuan successes and the amount of followers and money they have.

    At the end of the day, if you go check out their twitters and stuff, you can see they are ballin out of control, living in the lap of luxury, getting anything and anyone they want whenever they want it, living dreams and kissing the sky at their lowest points, so really, we should all be watching and listening attentively as clearly laid out by the evidence, they are the top of the chain dominant species just laughing in all our faces as they throw money into the air and party non stop.

    I certainly feel like much less of a man and a person and it makes anything and everything i do seem not worthy and a waste of time. I’m just a slave here to be held in chains and work work work for very little all so people like them can have a good time and make millions and live in mansions and buy sportscars, and then I get to be pissed on and shit on too because i am not banking million after million and sleeping with model after model, it all goes with the fun and exciting job of being a lowly slave.

    They are our Gods and basically they are the only ones doing anything right, so we should be having our notebooks in hands and taking notes on every syllable out of their mouths instead of bashing them or cutting them down, we should be praying to them at night, we should be studying every gesticulation made and everything they do, so that maybe one of us can come within a tiny fraction of their success and maybe attain and reach their atmospheric heights of amazingness.

    • hippydog

      Quote “Anyways, seems like nothing more then 2014 Music Industry Marketing 101.”

      I didnt even think about that..
      Everything being equal, THAT idea ACTUALLY makes the most sense.. ..
      thats kinda sad.. On one hand they are all getting into a battle that should NOT have happened in the first place..
      or they are simply colluding to make a few free newswaves..

      idiots or evil ? thats a tough one..

    • hippydog

      Quote “For all we know Ultra and Michelle and Kaskade are hitting the web with algorithms as we speak exploiting even just us talking about it.”

      hitting the web with algorithms..???

      1.) that would make a GREAT band name..

      2.) is this tunehunter?

  18. Anonymous

    She sure did use a lot of Kaskades music. She might have a crush on him!

    We all know how the celebrity game likes it couples, this could be a true love story brewing in the midst of some trials and tribulations, a hideous and heinous crime these poor souls must endure, and that would also be a great money maker for them, think about it. Imagine how lucky we would all be to get to oggle them as they walk the red carpet throwing their millions in the air as they step out of some fancy luxury limo, oh how lucky we would be. I eagerly sit at him twiddling my thumbs in anticipation of such a thing, it would make my life complete, it would be the greatest thing ever in the history of mankind.

  19. agraham999

    A lot of comments here, but I’ll just add another because it is relevant. I use to work for a billion dollar entertainment company. In fact I launched their first music site many years ago. Prior to that experience I had never worked in the music industry and brought my tech background to getting the site launched.

    Right before launching the site I had quite a few artists lined up who wanted to promote their music on our site, considering we did millions and millions of unique visits and had a TV channel as well. They were all freely giving up tracks for download and promotion, we did video interviews with their music, etc.

    While on holiday I get a phone call from our top lawyer…the top lawyer at a 6,000+ employee, six continent company…and she says…hold on…you can’t just launch this site with all this music. We have to have contracts in place, we need sync licenses, etc. Their view was that even though the manager or artist or even someone at the label may say…here’s this free song…please use it…that wasn’t enough for them to feel safe considering they could get sued. I thought it was a bit of an overreaction at the time because of course I had no previous experience in the music business.

    And while it still seems a bit backwards, I now get it. A manager, an artist, a PR rep, A&R person, Marketing, etc…can’t necessarily grant permission to use something, and especially in a video where a sync is required. I think what this might come down to is who actually gave her “permission” and when? Was it a contract or some off the cuff email? Regardless, it was a foolish decision for her to do something like this when you obviously have lawyers to advise you with your million dollar YouTube property who would or should know better.

    My thought is that it is likely the reason she didn’t pull anything down is because she would lose all the hits off those popular videos. If she did have permission, of course, she would only need to prove that…but seems like the label would have done some due diligence before filing a suit like this.

  20. Anonymous

    And while it still seems a bit backwards, I now get it. A manager, an artist, a PR rep, A&R person, Marketing, etc…can’t necessarily grant permission to use something, and especially in a video where a sync is required. I think what this might come down to is who actually gave her “permission” and when? Was it a contract or some off the cuff email? Regardless, it was a foolish decision for her to do something like this when you obviously have lawyers to advise you with your million dollar YouTube property who would or should know better.

    My thought is that it is likely the reason she didn’t pull anything down is because she would lose all the hits off those popular videos. If she did have permission, of course, she would only need to prove that…but seems like the label would have done some due diligence before filing a suit like this.

    What is the point in taking them down at this point? You can murder somebody and discard of the body but that doesn’t mean you haven’t committed murder. She’ll settle for a lot less and she’ll get a ton of promotion and marketing out of it likely winning the hearts of more and more people. The label gets to play the evil villainous Joker to the hero Batman and pocket money and get good promotion and marketing. A win all around, likely to see all of them drinking champagne while eating some gourmet thousand dollar meal together the night after its settled.

    The thing here is, if Kaskade gave her permission and she acted on it, is he liable for some suit? Maybe she should sue him for double the amount! Maybe Ultra has Kaskade and their other artists going around telling people they can freely use the music so that Ultra can go in after the fact and sue everyone. Maybe that is the new business model.

    That’s also the thing regarding permission. Kaskade sold his rights to someone else, they now basically own him. He doesn’t own any of the rights he signed over, that means he can bark all he wants or tug on Michelles and her fans pants leg looking for a belly rub all he wants, but he is collared and his Master is the only one who can dictate what when and where. He gets told where he can squat and dump and told which food dish he can eat out of.

    If his Master wants him on a short leash and in a dog house surrounded by a chain linked fence, then that is what he gets.

    Sure he isn’t Ultras lapdog, unless it has to do with the rights he sold, then he still isn’t their lapdog, he is their front man puppet slave bitch jumping when and how high he is told to! That’s how it works. Of course in most circumstances my metaphorical portrayal is much harsher and vividly darker then reality, but never the less, that’s how it goes.

    I own all my rights, if Michelle wants to use my music, she has to come to me, and if I tell her she can use it free of charge, then it’s done and no one can sue her, but hey since i haven’t sold my rights out to those who have the muscle and the money to move it no one wants to anyways and i also don’t get millions and millions and any girl I want and mansions and sportscars etc. etc.

    That is the rub! Same as it ever was.

  21. Anonymous

    Her use of his music is low volume, doesn’t directly compete in any way with consumption of the original music itself, and largely irrelevant to the point of her videos. Certainly, I think she should have gotten a license.

    But suing her for literally all she is worth makes a mockery of copyright law. It is not a tool to bludgeon another creator to death over some unauthorized background music. Get some fucking perspective people.

    • agraham999

      It think the label here is making a point. She didn’t just use a couple tracks after all. I think the larger issue here is they are making an example of her because she is highly successful and she is no different than any other professional production company that does the right thing and gets permission, licenses, etc. They aren’t going to take this suit all the way. Phan will settle for a few hundred grand and make an apology and have to likely make some statement about doing things the right way. That’s the fucking perspective.

      I think it is a bit of a dick move for the DJ to come out and say copyright is a dino and he supports her when he sold the rights to his music and cashed the check…and his music is really a loss leader for gigs and other endorsement deals. The label is entitled to recoup what they paid him for his stuff and I don’t believe for a second he went in there and was forced into some deal. He probably came out with a pretty nice check. If not…a stupid move.

      Regardless, I think the label (and not defending labels) has a right to protect what they paid for and recoup their investment. She wasn’t just some fly by night operation…she’s a highly successful MCN who likely flew under the radar of ContentID until those rules changed and she got caught. She had to know better.

  22. Cmonbro

    I’m just mad they don’t treat the video game industry like this..

    so you wanna use my song EA? you are gonna pay me a flat rate? But you will make 1 billion dollars and I see no residuals?


  23. Versus


    Kaskade is trying to have it both ways: poseur-“rebel” against “The Man” (i.e the Music “Industry”) while massively profiting from the machinery to the extent that he is “The Man”.

    Put your money where your mouth is, Kaskade: If you really believe in this new music (non)-business charity model, make all your music available for free, accept no income from your music, and return every cent you have ever made profiting from the sale or use of your music.

    That would include a substantial portion of your DJ income as well, since your gigs depend on the all past support of labels.

    Phan has to pay up, and should be fined extra for wasting everyone’s time and knowingly continuing her abuse with via counter-notifications (yet another symptom of the broken DMCA takedown process).

    Kaskade: You are an enemy of musicians.

  24. Christina

    Michelle Phan is not above the law or entitled to use the music. Kaskade can rant all he wants, but he sold his music to ULTRA who in turn made him rich himself. I bet he would change a tune if he found out Michelle was grabbing money out of his personal bank account.
    ULTRA provided the expensive recording equipment, property, labor, and promotions to made said music possible. Their profits fund working employees all the way done to the janitor who is supporting his family. You’re telling me those employees should just let their pay get low and hours cut?
    And really, poor Michelle? That adult woman is in charge of her own giant companies worth millions. She is not the poor person here. It’s business against business. Her fans that cry Michelle didn’t steal are the same ones who attack other girls on youtube with “stop copying Michelle.”

  25. wow

    wow most of the people commenting on this article are fuckboys and fuckgirls