In Court

Jillian Michaels wins $5.7 million ruling over videos posted to YouTube

Jillian Michaels is far from being the biggest loser.

The celebrity fitness guru won a whopping $5.7 million arbitration ruling against Lionsgate on Wednesday in a dispute over free content on YouTube.

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The Tennesssean reported on Thursday that the legal issue called in question whether free videos on YouTube devalue a creator’s paid content. Nashville-based attorney Richard Busch, who represents the 43-year-old celebrity trainer, called the victory a landmark decision that could benefit artists.

“We are thrilled for Jillian,” said Busch, as reported by USA Today. “This is an incredibly important decision for all artists in the YouTube era in which we live. This decision represents a firm pronouncement that placing work on YouTube for free devalues it, and damages artists, like Jillian, who created it.”

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Michaels argued that by placing her workout content for free on Lionsgate’s BeFit YouTube channel, fans were then less likely to pay for her content later on. She also stated that Lionsgate reportedly did not consult her before posting her workout videos for free.

“We argued throughout that Lionsgate tried to build a YouTube business, BeFit, on Jillian’s back and popularity, but did not care that it did not have the right to do so, or the damage it did to her,” added Busch. “We are very happy with the Arbitrator’s decision, including the Order requiring the removal of Jillian’s content from YouTube.”

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