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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 November 2006, 00:16 GMT
YouTube sued by sound-alike site
YouTube
YouTube is growing in popularity
A firm selling machinery to make tubes and pipes has sued internet sensation YouTube - saying the video-sharing site causes havoc at its own business.

Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment said its own website - Utube.com - had to be moved five times after millions of inadvertent hits made it crash.

The Ohio-based firm has now filed a claim in the US district court.

It says it wants YouTube to stop operating or alternatively pay for it to create a new web domain.

'There first'

Universal Tube said the cost of hosting its site had grown significantly in the last two months, and claims that it had lost business because customers have had trouble accessing its site.

In August, the company, founded in 1985, got 68 million hits on its site which eventually crashed.

"We were there first by 10 years," Universal Tube's president Ralph Girkins told the Associated Press news agency.

"We've had to move our site five times in an effort to stay ahead of the YouTube.com visitors."

YouTube, launched in February 2005, has grown quickly into one of the most popular websites on the internet.

It has 100 million videos viewed every day and an estimated 72 million individual visitors each month.

Last month it was bought by Google for $1.65bn (883m) in shares.

It has more than 60 staff including co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.

YouTube was unavailable for comment.




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