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Who's the biggest loser now?

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Jillian Michaels is well known for her role as a fitness trainer for the TV show The Biggest Loser. Since her first appearance on the show in 2004, she went on to become a celebrity fitness guru.

She is known for her tough but caring style as a trainer on television, but also for the numerous physical fitness DVDs, online videos, books and workout routines she has created.

An astute businesswoman, by 2015, Michaels had built a successful fitness business and a highly recognizable brand. But there was a catch to her success: As happens with many great products, copycats tried to steal her intellectual property.

Cracking down on copycats

Michaels filed a lawsuit against the well-known film product and distribution company Lionsgate. She claimed Lionsgate posted videos of her exercise programs on YouTube without her permission, causing her financial harm.

If people could obtain her product free online, she argued, why would anyone pay to obtain it? Her lawsuit asked for $10 million in damages, and she was ultimately awarded $5.7 million in arbitration.

A big win for many owners of intellectual property

The case is a victory for artists and creators, significant beyond a dispute between a fitness guru and a distributor. It signifies that placing an artist's work on YouTube reduces its value in the marketplace.

"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," Michaels told Business Insider. "It is a win for the consumer and the experts and how I hope the digital media landscape can continue to evolve."

If your creation has been devalued, you may have cause to take legal action for your losses.

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