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Former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels is celebrating a $5.8 million win in her legal battle with Lionsgate that could have implications for the future of free videos on YouTube.
Michaels sued Lionsgate in 2015 over it posting her workouts for free on its YouTube channel, BeFit. She claimed that because the workouts were offered for free, her fans would be less likely to pay for her content.
On Wednesday, an arbitrator agreed and ordered Lionsgate to pay Michaels about $5.8 million for lost past and potential future profits, as well as attorneys’ fees and arbitration costs.
“This is an important decision for not just me, but for all experts, artists and content creators finding their work devalued and revenue lost in this digital age,” Michaels told Business Insider in an exclusive statement on Thursday.
“I am thrilled with the opportunity to provide healthy-lifestyle content to the masses through digital media and want it to be accessible and affordable for fans,” the fitness guru added. “It is a win for the consumer and the experts and how I hope the digital media landscape can continue to evolve.”
She created the streaming network FitFusion, which allows members to view all of her fitness content along with that of many other fitness experts.
Michaels’s attorney, Richard Busch, called it a “landmark” ruling since it could affect how companies promote, share and license content in the future, in addition to protecting the talent.
“This decision represents a firm pronouncement that placing work on YouTube for free devalues it and damages artists, like Jillian, who created it,” Busch told The Tennessean.
Lionsgate didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider‘s request for comment.