More companies have joined a huge copyright lawsuit against Google-owned YouTube . The ball was originally set rolling by the English Premier League and music publisher Bourne & Co. Eight more firms have now joined the case according to Reuters, including the National Music Publishers' Association, the Rugby Football League and, bizarrely, the Finnish Football League Association.

Sports clips are big traffic earners on YouTube. And, in an age where the rights cost for English football's top flight has passed the £1 billion mark, it's somewhat understandable that the Premier League would want to protect their assets.

"The clear and growing message to YouTube and Google is simple: their callous and opportunistic business model is contrary to right, contrary to law, and must and will be stopped," Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson said in a statement.

Earlier in the year, Viacom announced its intention to take YouTube to court. The owner of MTV and Nickelodeon launched a $1 billion lawsuit that, Viacom says, is to compel YouTube and Google to comply with copyright laws. The papers were filed in the Southern District of New York for "massive intentional copyright infringement of Viacom's entertainment properties".

Viacom complaint

The complaint contends that "160,000 unauthorised clips of Viacom programming" are available on YouTube. The suit maintains these clips have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times between them.

"YouTube is a significant, for-profit organisation that has built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others' creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google," said a statement released by Viacom at the time.

At the time Google said: "These suits simply misunderstand the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which balances the rights of copyright holders against the need to protect internet communications and content."