The Football Assn. Premier League and independent music publisher Bourne Co.
filed a class action lawsuit for copyright infringement today against YouTube and its parent company, Google.

The complaint, filed in federal court in New York, seeks to stop the services from the "unauthorized and uncompensated use" of the creative and other copyrighted works of the league and publisher, as well as the works of other copyright holders that would qualify as part of the class action suit.

The league and publisher claim that YouTube and Google "are pursuing a deliberate strategy of engaging in, permitting, encouraging, and facilitating massive copyright infringement on the YouTube website" in order to build traffic to the site, according to the complaint filed May 4. Although the services are aware of a "pattern of massive infringement," they purposefully refrain from employing readily available measures to curb the infringement, the suit says.

William Hart, lead counsel on the case for Proskauer Rose, tells Billboard.biz that a class action suit was filed since many copyright holders could not afford to sue YouTube and Google on their own. While one reason for suing the services is to recover damages for infringements, another reason is for copyright holders to gain back their control over their copyrighted works and to ensure that the service uses proper filtering technology.

The lawsuit seeks a court-ordered injunction to prohibit YouTube and Google from continuing to violate various copyright protection laws. The lawsuit also asks for damages in an unspecified amount for YouTube's past copyright violations.

The Premier League is the top division of English soccer that is broadcast in 204 countries worldwide and viewed by audiences estimated at 2.59 billion people. Bourne is one of the leading independent music publishers whose titles "Let's Fall in Love" and "Smile."

Law firms Proskauer Rose and Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann are representing the league and the publisher for the class action suit.