“File under, ‘For real?’:” Ultra sues YouTube star, Kaskade weighs in

With an enormous following on YouTube and beyond, Michelle Phan is a self-made internet celebrity. This week, however, the 27-year-old entrepreneur’s make-up instructional videos – which have earned her over 6.6 million subscribers – are at the centre of a lawsuit filed by dance powerhouse Ultra Records.

As reported by Reuters, Ultra Records LLC and Ultra International Music Publishing LLC are suing Phan for copyright infringement, claiming she has used music from several Ultra artists without a license in her videos. According to the plaintiffs, Phan has been told she needs to obtain a license “and yet continues to willfully infringe in blatant disregard of Plaintiff’s rights of ownership.” Of the “dozens of infringements” cited, the majority involve music released by West Coast house hero Ryan Raddon, AKA Kaskade.

Upon learning about the lawsuit filed by his former label, Raddon took to Twitter to voice his ambivalence. (You can read the tweets below.) Ultra’s action against Phan stands in contrast to the sentiments Raddon expressed on his Tumblr recently. “Having the means to expose music to the masses is a deft tool to breathe new life into and promote a song,” he wrote in the entry titled Free the Music and the Creativity Will Flow. “Make no mistake: exposing as many people as possible to music – all music – is a good thing. Everyone wins.”

Ultra is seeking an injunction to stop Phan using the label’s music, Reuters reports, “and either maximum statutory damages of $150,000 for each infringed work or unspecified damages to be determined.”

In the ‘Night Life Favorites’ video below, you’ll hear Kaskade’s 4AM as the soundtrack. Here’s how Raddon plainly puts it: “When I signed with Ultra, I kissed goodbye forever the rights to own my music. They own it.”