Firm Claims Google Nickel & Dimed It

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A digital media company claims Google owes it millions of dollars in ad revenue for movies and music it streamed on YouTube.




     Craze Productions and Sam Kleinman sued Google and YouTube in Superior Court, claiming they owe him as much as $8 million. Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006.
     Kleinman also seeks damages for slander.
     Kleinman says his London-based company, Craze Productions, entered an agreement with Google to stream music clips and full-length movies on YouTube for a share of advertising revenue.
     Kleinman says that Google promised it would draw up written terms for the movie deal, but never did so.
     A major part of the dispute appears to be over Google’s payments for streaming of full movies, as opposed to clips.
     “The plaintiff and Google and YouTube often discussed that full length feature films are paid at a much higher rate than the amount advertisers pay to be on sound clips,” the complaint states.
     Kleinman says that “whenever” he asked Google “about the proper payments for these films, instead of the very small amounts paid for them by Google, they avoided the discussion by alleging falsely that Craze was in some sort of terms violation [sic] of YouTube’s terms and conditions.”
     In a paragraph with some confusing math, Kleinman states: “In June 2010, Craze reached almost 4 million views daily and plaintiff’s products were seen 870,000,000 times on YouTube. Craze Productions had provided YouTube with over 2,000 films that were regularly viewed by its 140,000 subscribers and between 1.2-1.5 million viewers daily.”
     The complaint continues: “Notwithstanding these exorbitant numbers of views, defendants have made only paltry payments to plaintiff and have refused to permit plaintiff to choose an accountant of its choice to ascertain the fair market value of what is owed.
     “To further describe what plaintiff refers to as paltry, for many films, defendants have paid less that 60 cents (US) per thousand views when people advertise to the public on the Internet that ad revenues for movies can pay at the rate of $25 (US) per thousand views.”
     He also claims that the defendants “arbitrarily removed Craze music from 575,000 videos, without warning, alleging false and unsubstantiated copyright violations.”
     Kleinman says this happened “on or about June 2010 right have the famous Israeli flotilla which cause [sic] huge anti-Israel feelings in Europe and England and all around the world.”
     Kleinman claims the defendants slandered him in this incident, accusing him of being a “pirate,” which left him “embarrassed and distraught.”
     Kleinman seeks an accounting and punitive damages for breach of oral contract, breach of implied contract, quantum meruit, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and slander.
     He is represented by Susan Balistocky.

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