Earlier this summer, Ultra Records and its publishing division sued YouTube star Michelle Phan for copyright infringement, claiming that she’d been using its music in her popular videos without a licence. Now Phan has hit back with a countersuit, claiming that “she received from Ultra, Ultra’s consent to use compositions and master recordings by Ultra artists”. Phan’s filing claims that in 2009, she requested permission to use songs by Kaskade in her videos, citing an email from Ultra’s senior new media manager at the time that it was “more than happy” for her to use it. Phan’s argument is that she had an agreement with Ultra that she could use tracks, while crediting the artists and including links to buy the songs from iTunes – in return for Ultra not pursuing Content ID claims against her. At some point, the company’s attitude changed, with Phan’s filing claiming that earlier this year, it contacted her to stop using its music, before issuing 12 DMCA takedown notices against her past videos. Phan is demanding a jury trial, but we suspect this case has the makings of an out-of-court settlement before it reaches that point.

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