Ultra Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Michelle Phan

Ultra Records and Ultra International Music Publishing have filed a lawsuit against Michelle Phan for copyright infringement. YouTube darling, Phan, has amassed over 6.5 million subscribers on her hair and makeup tutorial channel, which often features electronic music. She has a special propensity to utilize Kaskade tracks in her productions, which garnered the attention of Ultra.
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Ultra claims Phan illegally used their music in her video tutorials without clearance, authorization or permission by the artists, including Kaskade. Ultra further alleges that the infringing videos were viewed over 150 million times and is seeking unspecified damages.

The label and its publishing arm claim she has used about 50 of their songs without permission in her YouTube videos and on her own website including deadmau5 and Calvin Harris. According to court documents filed in California, Ultra, claims Phan makes money from advertising attached to her YouTube channel and website. The label went on to state she “has been featured in a high-profile and multi-platform advertising campaign for YouTube, which features some of YouTube’s most popular personalities…and Phan has also been featured in national advertising for Dr Pepper.”

Ultra is looking for $150,000 for each proven copyright infringement. However, the complaint also outlines “nearly 50 examples of blatant copyright infringement, plaintiffs’ analysis is still preliminary, and the full extent of Phan’s infringement has not yet been determined”. The publishing division, Ultra International, has also demanded an injunction, claiming that it has “sustained and will continue to sustain substantial, immediate and irreparable injury” as a result of Ms Phan’s use of its copyrighted material and she “continues to wilfully infringe in blatant disregard of plaintiffs’ rights of ownership.”

Michelle Phan responded to the allegations by stating the lawsuit lacks any merit, and Ultra agreed to allow her to use the music for her videos.

We reached out to Ultra for a comment, but they did not respond to any of our communications.

Update 7.28.2014

Blanket Statement From Ultra regarding this matter:

When a music artist or songwriter signs to Ultra, it is our responsibility to protect what they have created. Enforcing copyrights is fundamental to the survival of artists, writers and producers, and to Ultra’s ability to continue to invest in and support them, so that they can continue to bring great music to music fans around the world. Whatever Ultra collects enforcing these important rights is shared with its artists according to their agreements.

Author: FutureMusic

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