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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

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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