On Tuesday (August 6), the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Fullscreen, Inc. (Fullscreen), a Multi-Channel Network (MCN) behind some of YouTube’s most popular channels, for its illegal use of unlicensed musical works. Fullscreen, which makes huge profits from advertising revenue generated by the unlicensed music videos on their channels, does not compensate songwriters or music publishers. Fullscreen alone has 15,000 YouTube channels with more than 200 million subscribers and averages 36 million viewers responsible for 284 million video views per month in the U.S.

“The problem of copyright infringement and unlicensed use of music is endemic to the MCN industry,” said David Israelite, NMPA president and CEO. “Fullscreen’s success and growth as a digital business is attributable in large part to the prevalence and popularity of its unlicensed music videos. We must stop the trend of ignoring the law, profiting from someone else’s work, then asking forgiveness when caught. It is not only unfair, it is unacceptable… We must build a digital marketplace that can thrive and give music fans what they want, when they want it. Ignoring the law should not be allowed as a business model.”

In another development, NMPA have agreed in principle to a settlement regarding similar copyright issues with Maker Studios, another large MCN.