EMusic sues MP3.com, alleges copyright violation

The suit filed in the federal District Court for the Southern District of New York alleges that MP3.com is infringing on the copyright of some albums for which EMusic owns the digital rights, EMusic.com said in a statement. EMusic owns the digital rights to approximately 13,000 albums from 600 record labels, the company said.

EMusic.com filed the complaint with six of its partner labels: Fearless Records, Fuel 2000 Records, Gig Records, Invisible Records, SpinArt Records and Victory Records.

Representatives of MP3.com could not be immediately reached for comment.

MP3.com has faced a list of copyright infringement suits during 2000. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), representing several record labels, targeted the company because of its My.MP3.com service, which in its initial makeup allowed users to listen to their CD collections from any computer with an Internet connection. Users could stream songs from any album they could prove they owned.

Warner Brothers Music Group, EMI Group, BMG Entertainment, and Sony Music Entertainment settled their suits against MP3.com for an estimated $US20 million each, but Universal Music Group continued its legal action, and on 6 September a judge found MP3.com guilty of "willfully infringing" Universal's copyrights.

MP3.com agreed to pay $US53.4 million to Universal in mid-November. My.MP3.com had been suspended since April because of the pending lawsuits. Two weeks ago, My.MP3.com began running again as a subscription-based music service.

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