Last week, we reported on lawsuits filed by YouTube multi-channel networks Machinima and Collective Digital Studio against music firm Freeplay alleging “bait and switch” licensing policies. Now Freeplay has fired back with its own lawsuits – albeit targeted against four other MCNs: Maker Studios, AwesomenessTV, Big Frame and BroadbandTV. 

Freeplay says that it’s been working with monitoring service TuneSat to detect “evidence of clear copyright infringement” in the videos published by YouTubers signed to these MCNs that used songs from its 50,000-strong catalogue. MCNs, remember, sit outside YouTube’s Content ID copyright system, requiring them to strike direct licensing deals. “Despite their recognition that FPM’s copyrights were being infringed, the MCNs ceased serious negotiations,” claims Freeplay’s lawsuits, with counter-lawsuits for Machinima and Collective expected to follow.

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