Schneider Retreats From YouTube Content ID Court Battle After Failing to Secure Class Action Status

YouTube and Schneider said in a joint court filing that they agreed to end the Content ID lawsuit 'with prejudice'
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YouTube and Schneider said in a joint court filing that they agreed to end the Content ID lawsuit 'with prejudice'
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Photo Credit: Javier Miranda

Just a day before the June 13th trial for the now-infamous YouTube Content ID lawsuit, Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider has officially stepped back. After failing to secure the much-talked-about class-action status, the war is over and the case has been voluntarily dismissed.

In a strange turn of events, YouTube and Schneider said in a joint court filing that they agreed to end the case ‘with prejudice,’ which means that the case cannot be refiled.

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider had sued YouTube back in 2020, accusing the leading video-sharing platform of structurally permitting infringement of some of her works. Schneider’s lawsuit claimed that YouTube ‘limits access to Content ID’ for ‘ordinary’ copyright owners like her, allegedly enabling piracy and events of repeat infringement. Meanwhile, production houses and labels can access the system’s advanced features — safeguarding their content from infringement.

YouTube had vehemently denied the allegations, saying it goes ‘above and beyond’ to protect copyrights, adding that its copyright management tools are so powerful they ‘must be used with care.’

On major content-sharing platforms, savvy creators typically prioritize monetization over the accumulation of users and fans. With a focus on this aspect, companies like Identifyy (owned by HAAWK) are assisting creators in successfully matching and monetizing their content on sub-platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube — all by leveraging the capabilities of Content ID.

While Schneider’s lawsuit initially appeared to many as the turning point that would forever alter the copyright infringement landscape — and YouTube — the climax has been quite the buzzkill.

During the last few weeks, a series of smaller wins for YouTube quickly turned the tables. The death blow to Schneider’s lawsuit occurred last month when Judge Donato denied the plaintiffs’ request for class action status, noting that “Every copyright claim is subject to defenses that require their own individualized inquiries.”

With the June 13th trial date looming, Schneider’s legal team made another attempt to attain class-action status, appealing to the Ninth Circuit to halt court proceedings while Donato’s ‘erroneous’ ruling was theoretically overturned.

This last-minute leap for class-action certification has spelled suicide for the lawsuit, leading to Schneider retreating from battle.

The joint filing dated June 11th states, ‘Plaintiffs Maria Schneider, Uniglobe Entertainment, LLC, and AST Publishing, LTD, and Defendants YouTube, LLC and Google LLC, hereby stipulate to the dismissal of the action. All claims that Plaintiffs raised or could have raised in this action are dismissed WITH PREJUDICE. Each Party will bear its own costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees.’