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Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash Credit: Wesley Tingey

In 2020, musician and composer Maria Schneider filed a class action lawsuit against YouTube. Its focus was on independent artists’ and smaller rightsholders’ lack of direct access to YouTube’s Content ID system, and wider questions of YouTube’s safe harbour protections.

Nearly three years on, the lawsuit is set to come to trial next month (June). It’s been a twisty road to this point too.

In August 2022 YouTube failed in an attempt to dismiss the case, but in January 2023 it won a partial summary judgement over some (but not all) of Schneider’s infringement claims.

More recently, there has been a still-unresolved question about whether the lawsuit should be a class action, or assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Still, the trial is set to begin on 12 June in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.

TorrentFreak has a summary of the current state of play, including YouTube’s plans to NOT pursue a safe-harbour defence if the lawsuit is denied class certification.

We’re not overstating things when we say that this could be one of the most important courtroom battles yet relating to digital music and copyright.

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