VEVO, a music video company started as a joint venture by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media, was caught red-handed for streaming an NFL game illegally on TVs in its VEVO PowerStation event.
TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid, who was present in the event, recorded the ‘crime,’ as the RIAA loves to put it. It turns out that VEVO was streaming the game from TuTele.tv, which appears to be a foreign streaming website, the kind that SOPA and PIPA, overreaching anti-piracy acts that could potentially ruin the internet as we know it, aim to shut down.
You would have thought that the people or organizations that won’t stop referring to file-sharing as ‘stealing’ or ‘theft,’ and file sharers as ‘criminals,’ are the ones that would go the extra mile to make sure they themselves are not labeled as such. Wrong.
Consider U.S. Representative Lamar Smith, who’s responsible for introducing SOPA and also the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act (PCIP), which requires ISPs to store customer data (such as IP, name, address, credit card information, etc.) for one year. It turns out that he’s a copyright violator himself.
Now consider VEVO. With EMI licensing its content to VEVO, it’s syndicating music videos from three out of the four major music labels in the U.S.
These are the very labels that sue ordinary citizens for downloading music online illegally. These are the very labels that claim that jobs are being destroyed and music sales are on the decline due to online piracy.
To confirm his findings, Kincaid contacted ESPN. As he expected, the website VEVO used has no right to stream the game. When reached for comments, VEVO says that the event was produced by a third-party creative agency along with several other companies. VEVO claims that it has no idea who’s responsible for streaming the game, as the public had access to the computer.
That could make a good excuse, but not for a group with a “sue first, ask later” attitude. The RIAA even sued a deceased grandmother back in 2005, if you’re unaware.
The evidence is solid. Either VEVO officials go to jail or pay through their nose to compensate ESPN, or stop all the hypocrisy already. Kudos to Jason Kincaid for the discovery, and here’s the video:
Photo: Alan Cleaver