YouTube beauty celebrity Michelle Phan has made her way well enough into the public eye to draw notice from the music label that owns the rights to songs she uses in her videos. Ultra Records, which holds the rights to electronic dance music by the likes of Kaskade and Benny Benassi, is suing the makeup guru for using its music sans license.
Accusing Phan of putting around 50 of its songs in her videos without correct legal permission, Ultra has requested $150,000 per proven copyright infringement.
Though many smaller artists can get away with the use of a copyrighted song or two, Phan has accumulated over 6.7 million subscribers on her YouTube channel and was recently featured in a YouTube-funded ad campaign, which saw her face plastered all over billboards, buses, subways, and metro stations in several US major cities.
The previously Grammy-nominated Kaskade ranks among the artists from Ultra whose music features in Phan’s popular beauty tutorials. Even though the artist remains firmly on Phan’s side, tweeting, “Copyright law is a dinosaur, ill-suited for the landscape of today’s media,” he does not have power to stop the lawsuit.
Phan plans to fight the lawsuit. Outside of her YouTube channel, Phan also boasts a makeup line and a book deal to show for her internet success.