Serial entrepreneur Michael Robertson, who founded the famously RIAA-sued MP3.com, shares some thoughts on a lawsuit filed this week by DivX against Universal Music Group. UMG is also in a tussle with the online video service Veoh, over similar issues.
Divx filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against UMG asking courts to affirm the legality of their Stage6 video hosting site. This is the second San Diego based company to engage media companies in court. The first was Veoh who also sued UMG. What does this mean? I would speculate the following:
– UMG must be sending out threatening demand letters to many companies.
– Tech companies are getting more savvy wih legal options and realizing the value of playing offense, not just defense.
– San Diego is building some institutional expertise. DivX was started by Jordan Greenhall, who worked at MP3.com in the early days. Other former MP3.com people are at DivX. One coincidence is that divx has occupied the last 2 office buildings that MP3.com used. They watched MP3's unsuccessful legal battles and maybe learned some things. Veoh was founded by Dmitry Shapiro, a friend of mine who is very smart.
Be interesting to watch this play out. I predict it won't be the "lamb to slaughter" that MP3.com was, for many reasons.
Link to DivX's press release today, with the headline "DivX Requests Federal Court Affirmation of DMCA Protection for Stage6." (via pho list, reposted with permission)