YouTube turned Andy Samberg (from “Lazy Sunday”) into movie star

August 8, 2007

News:  Larry Ratliff has an excellent article describing how YouTube helped propel Andy Samberg’s career, first on Saturday Night Live, and then in his first feature film, “Hot Rod.” 

Ironically, Samberg’s big break came when someone posted an unauthorized clip of his skit “Lazy Sunday” from Saturday Night Live onto YouTube.  Before that, Samberg was relatively unknown.  But after the video went viral on YouTube (getting over 5 million views), SNL signed Samberg and his Lonely Island crew fulltime.  SNL produce Lorne Michaels also signed Samberg to star in his movie “Hot Rod.” 

Of his YouTube fame, Samberg said:  “We were very fortunate. That YouTube wave was coming, and we just happened to have a nice clip that landed on the crest of it. It got us a lot of attention just as it was swelling.”

Who is suing YouTube for copyright infringement

August 8, 2007

News:  It seems like everyone–except the recording industry–is suing YouTube.  Here’s an update on all the cases.

(1) DROPPED:  Robert Tur’s suit in California for the Reginald Denny beating video (with a request by Viacom + NBC Universal to file an amici brief).  Tur just dropped his suit to join the class action suit with Premier League in (3) below. 

( 2) Viacom’s suit in the Southern District of New York (for Daily Show, Colbert Report, Sponge Bob, South Park, MTV clips, etc.)  Just had a scheduling conference; apparently will have another.  Philip Beck is YouTube’s lead counsel. Don Verrilli is Viacom’s lead counsel.  Judge Louis Stanton is presiding.  Viacom International, Inc. v. YouTube Inc., 07-CV-02103.  (Case docket from Justia)  

(3) English Football Ass’n Premier League (soccer division) and Bourne Co. (U.S. music publisher) suit, with a request to certify a class action, in the Southern District of New York.  So far, the Rugby Football League, the Finnish Football League, the National Music Publishers’ Association, and Knockout Entertainment Limited, Seminole Warriors Boxing, Robert Tur (from the 1st lawsuit), the Federation Francaise de Tennis, and Ligue de Football Professionnel. have also joined in the action.  Also joining the class is New York-based Cherry Lane Music Publishing, which “owns more than 65,000 copyrights, including the publishing rights to music from Elvis, Quincy Jones, and the Black Eyed Peas.”  Max Berger is lead counsel for Premier League; Philip Beck is lead counsel for YouTube.  Judge, TBD. The Football Association Premier League Limited v. YouTube, Inc., 07 CV-3582.  (Case docket from Justia

(4)  David Grisman, a mandolin player who performed with the Grateful Dead, along with his partner Craig Miller and company Dawg Music.  They are also seeking to certify a class action of musicians against YouTube in the Northern District of California.  Joseph Tabacco is lead counsel for Grisman.  David Kramer is lead counsel for YouTube. Judge Susan Illston is presiding. Grisman v. YouTube, Inc., 2007cv02518.  (Case docket from Justia)

(5) The New Jersey Turnpike for use of certain surveillance footage.  Suit in New Jersey.  Judge Katharine S. Hayden is presiding.   New Jersey Turnpike Authority v. YouTube, Inc., 2:2007cv02414.  (Case docket from Justia) 

 (6)  Country music publisher Cal IV, which owns rights to the songs by Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and others. Also seeking a class action, this one in Nashville.  Daniel Girard is lead counsel for Cal IV.  James Doran and Robb Harvey, two Nashville attorneys, represent YouTube.  Judge Robert Echols is presiding.  Cal IV Entertainment v. YouTube, CV-00617 (Case docket from Justia)

LisaNova talks about spam and porn controversy on YouTube

August 8, 2007

News: LisaNova is perhaps the biggest breakthrough to Hollywood from YouTube, having landed a starring role on MADtv on Fox.  (Lonelygirl Jessica Rose is probably the only other who can compete.) In the past few weeks, LisaNova’s been embroiled in a controversy on YouTube involving generic comments she (and apparently her helpers) posted to other people’s videos. Some people didn’t like it and called it “spam” from LisaNova. Things came to a head this week when Natalie of the Community Channel criticized LisaNova in this video:

Natalie’s video prompted a parody response from LisaNova (who’s most famous on YouTube for her impersonations “doing” people):

Natalie replied with another video. And then LisaNova came out from behind her skits to talk straight into the camera, giving her version of the facts:

Analysis: To be honest, I’m not even sure what all the fuss is about.