According to Irving Azoff, founder of the licensing management firm Global Music Rights, video-sharing website YouTube does not have legal rights to play around 20, 000 songs by his clients including Williams and The Eagles. However, Irving Azoff's clients are finding the takedown process to be frustrating.
Apparently, Pharrell Williams' lawyer is ready to pick a billion-dollar fight with YouTube, a video-sharing service created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005 and owned by Google since 2006.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, founder of the licensing management firm Global Music Rights, Irvin Azoff claims that YouTube does not have legal rights to play almost 20,000 songs by artists he represents including Williams, The Eagles and the late John Lennon. Azoff wants the videos to be pulled down failing which he threatens Google's video behemoth a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit.
Search engine giant, Google was quietly rolling out its new Music Key service, which it hopes will compete with streaming sites like Spotify and Pandora. Azoff told THR last month:
"The trampling of writers' rights in the digital marketplace without any regard to their contribution to the creative process will no longer be tolerated."
Google, however, appears ready to lock horns with Irving Azoff's claim in court.
On December 4, David Kramer, Google's lawyer posted a letter on THR. Kramer called Azoff's position "misguided" and also claimed that YouTube was trying to skirt the proper legal channels to handle the takedown requests.
Kramer said, "YouTube would be happy to work with GMR, but empty threats will not advance GMR's cause or standing in that relationship."
Irving Azoff told THR.com his group was going after Google and not Pandora or Spotify because he felt Google was trying to bigfoot him.
Azoff told the THR.com, "They are the ones that have been least cooperative and the company our clients feel are the worst offenders," he added, "It's also their attitude."