YouTube Star Michelle Phan Sued for Copyright Infringement


Michelle Phan, the YouTube makeup tutorial star/that girl whose face is all over New York City subway cars (whether its in ads for YouTube or in ads for Dr. Pepper), is being sued by Ultra Records for allegedly using music by their artists in her videos without permission.

The BBC reports that the label believes Phan has used roughly 50 songs (if not more) in her videos and on her website belonging to electronica artists Kaskade, Late Night Alumni, deadmau5 and Haley. The complaint states that Phan knew she wasn’t allowed to use the songs “and yet continues to wilfully infringe in blatant disregard of plaintiffs’ rights of ownership.”

The complaint goes on to add that the “Unauthorized Videos have been viewed more than 150 million times” and discusses how Phan has financially benefitted from the videos due to her advertising deals. Ultra is asking for unspecified damages or $150,000 for each work deemed copyright infringement.

A spokesman for Phan has issued a statement refuting the claims, arguing that Ultra allowed Phan to use the music and stating that Phan plans to countersue. A look at the “About” portion of Phan’s videos (like the Night Life Favorites video shown above, which uses Kaskade’s “4 am”) indicates that she does credit the music she features and includes an iTunes link for those who might want to purchase the track in question.

Kaskade has also shown his support on Twitter, linking to a tumblr post he wrote last month about the complexities of modern music copyright law:

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