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by Mike Zazaian November 2, 2006 - 1:44pm, 3 Comments

Screenshot of the Universal Tube homepage at Utube.com

The Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment Corporation is suing Internet video behemoth YouTube for sending millions of errant, unwanted visitors to its site.

The company’s site, Utube.com, got 68 million hits in August alone, making it one of the most visited manufacturer websites on the Internet. Alexa.com even pegged Utube as the biggest mover and shaker on the ‘Net during the week in which YouTube was acquired by Google. However, as most of this traffic has come from confused YouTube users, the company’s site has incurred immense hosting and bandwidth costs, without seeing any real financial benefit. The heavy server loads have also caused long outages for Utube.com, often going down for several days at a time. Said Ralph Girkins, President of Universal Tube:

We’ve had to move our site five times in an effort to stay ahead of the youtube.com visitors.

Filed in U.S. District court this week, the lawsuit requires that YouTube pay for the hosting of a new site, as well as the cost of bandwidth and hosting that it’s incurred from the influx of visitors. The suit also seeks damages for business lost due to the site outages, although the amount of the damages was not specified.

Amidst the lawsuit Girkins plans to sell the rights to Utube.com and move the site to another address, although he’s not happy about it.

We were there first by 10 years, said Girkins.

Perrysburg-based Universal Tube was founded in 1985 claims an annual revenue of about $12 million in sales. YouTube, after being founded last November, quickly developed a user base that views 100 million video clips daily. The company was sold to Google last month for a combined $1.65 billion in cash and stock.

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Via The Inquirer