Lame Lawsuit: Capitol Records Sues Vimeo

Label claims site’s popular “Lip Dubs” massively infringe on copyrights

Last Updated: December 16, 2009 @ 12:54 PM

Now this is just dumb.

Capitol Records has filed a lawsuit against Vimeo, the user-centric video site owned by Barry Diller’s InterActiveCorp.

The reason? Vimeo’s “Lip Dub” series, which was launched after the viral success of a brilliant 2007 video (above) that featured Vimeo staffers lip-synching a heavily-choreographed rendition of Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta” in the company’s New York loft office.

In the suit, filed in U.S. Southern District Court of New York, Capitol claims that the videos illustrate Vimeo’s “massive” and “knowing infringement” on Capitol’s copyrights. Capitol says that Vimeo “is not only aware of copyright infringement” but “actively promotes and induces that infringement.

“Vimeo induces and encourages its users to upload to the Vimeo site these audiovisual works,” the complaint reads, “and Vimeo then copies, adapts, publicly performs, distributes, and otherwise disseminates to the public these audiovisual works, all of which can be viewed or downloaded by anyone with an Internet connection with a simple mouse click and then further distributed virally throughout the Internet.”

In other words, free, effective marketing by a cool, young Internet site. Of a song that was recorded in 1998 and would be otherwise forgotten.

(You know what I did when I saw that video? I forwarded it to my entire office, then bought the song on iTunes.)

Capitol is seeking unspecified damages from IAC.

Here’s an idea, Capitol: Instead of spending time and money suing Vimeo, how about sitting down with them and learning a thing or two about viral marketing from these young Turks, who managed to nail that Harvey Danger video in one take?

Because, from where I sit on the flagpole, you seem out of touch.

Complaint Capitol v Vimeo