EMI Sues Vimeo for Hosting "Lip Dub" Music Videos

December 17, 2009 12:00 AM ET

EMI Music has sued the video streaming site Vimeo for encouraging its users to post "lip dubs," or music videos that feature users creatively lip-syncing over a prerecorded song. According to MediaPost, EMI's complaint is that Vimeo is using complete, high-quality recordings for the lip dubs, which could violate the terms of fair use. "Vimeo has extensive knowledge of the use of copyrighted recordings on its Website, and Vimeo encourages and induces its users to copy, adapt, and upload copyrighted recordings," EMI wrote in their lawsuit.

EMI has kept its lawyers busy recently as Terra Firma, the company that bought up the beleaguered label, slapped CitiGroup with a suit for recommending EMI would be a good purchase, which it has evidently not been, Business Insider reports. Despite the success of the Beatles remasters, EMI is also reportedly seeking investors to help relieve the company's $4 billion debt, Reuters reports. So perhaps a ruling against Vimeo will help chip away at that multi-billion-dollar goal.

If "lip dubs" are a target today, who's to say those amazing Literal Music Videos won't be deemed illegal tomorrow. Of course, it's also probably just a coincidence that EMI's lawsuit against Vimeo comes just a few weeks after the major label agreed to terms to license its music and videos to Vevo, YouTube's new video streaming site made in collaboration with the record industry. Neither Vimeo nor EMI commented to Mediapost regarding the lawsuit. Until the Vimeo and EMI lawsuit is sorted out, enjoy a "lip dubbing" of Weezer's "Perfect Situation":

Lip Dub - Perfect Situation from Adam Needs on Vimeo.


Related Stories:
Vevo Arrives: Test Driving the Labels' New Video Streaming Site
Rocking Literally: The Story Behind "Take on Me," "Head Over Heels" Video Parodies
What's Next for Coldplay, Spice Girls Label? EMI's Guy Hands Speaks Out

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »