The internet is now a central hub for news, but the publisher of a popular podcast has been forced to shut down the site after it was found to have been violating copyright.
The publisher, the publisher’s father, filed a lawsuit Monday against WNYC, claiming the show’s hosts and others used a podcasting platform that was “a conduit for their private, unauthorized use.”
“It is our opinion that the content of the podcasting website, as it exists today, constitutes unauthorized copying and that its hosts and listeners have not received notice of this unauthorized use,” the suit states.WNYC declined to comment.
The podcast, which aired on The New York Times podcast network in late March, was the first major hit of the first season of the show.
It had garnered over a million downloads.
The lawsuit claims the show hosts and their guests violated the law by selling copies of their own work to fans for money.
The suit seeks $100 million in damages.
It is the latest in a string of takedowns against podcasting sites by the entertainment industry, which is grappling with the explosion in piracy and the rise of online platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.WYNC was created in 2012 by WNYc’s former co-host and former star, Jay Jaffe, who also hosts a podcast called “The Jay Show.”
The site features guests from the podcast world and has a strong reputation as a safe space for podcasters to express themselves.
WyNC has been used by many top podcasts such as “The Nerdist,” “Arrow” and “Inside Amy Schumer.”
But Jaffe’s lawsuit says the hosts and guests who make up the show are now taking steps to get around the copyright law.
“The content of The Jay Show is protected by copyright and therefore the podcast hosts and other podcasters have infringed on the copyright in the podcast by the use of the copyrighted material and the use by the podcast host of his or her content,” the lawsuit states.
“We have discovered that The Jay Listens Podcast hosts, like Jay, are using an unauthorized podcasting service and have not notified the copyright owners that the podcast is being used without their permission.”WYNNC had been hosted on the website Podbean.
The website has been taken offline.
The show’s producers and the hosts of the WNYCC podcast are asking the court to declare that the hosts have the right to “broadcast, distribute, and sell their content to the general public without payment, without limitation, without prior consent, without any conditions, and without any compensation.”
The podcast hosts’ attorney, William McBride, said in a statement that they have filed an injunction against the site and that the lawsuit is a “stunning example of an unlawful use of copyrighted content and its rightful owners.”WNYCC and its hosts are “very happy” with the lawsuit, McBride said.
The show has “done an excellent job of maintaining its presence on Podbean and keeping it up and running,” he added.
“However, as this case highlights, it is clear that some of the hosts on The Jay Lists show have been using unauthorized podcast hosting services without prior notification or permission, and the copyright holders of the podcasts have not been notified.
This has resulted in these hosts and the show losing millions of dollars in revenue.”
McBride said that the court will decide whether the case should be appealed to the New York Supreme Court.
The episode is just one of several that the Jay Listeners podcast has faced in recent months.
In June, the show was forced to close after the hosts were arrested for alleged child porn.