MP3.com CEO: Universal negotiations continue

"It continues to be our desire to use our technology infrastructure in concert with all the major record labels, including Universal," said Robertson, MP3.com's chairman and chief executive officer.

US District Judge Jed S. Rakoff determined September 6 that MP3.com may be required to pay at least $US118 million, or $25,000 for each of Universal's estimated 4,700 titles in its CD collection, according to the judge's ruling. The dollar figure could change when the exact number of CDs is determined in the final phase of the trial in November, Rakoff said.

MP3.com has said it will appeal the lawsuit, including the court's decision on willingness to infringe, fair use and the level of statutory damages, Robertson said. In his statement, he also said the company will pursue legislative opportunities to assist in "clarifying a consumer's right to listen to music they own on the Internet."

With MP3.com's MyMP3.com technology, users can register their CDs with the company's database and then listen to them from any computer. The court ruled the technology willingly infringed on Universal's copyrights.

MP3.com already has settled other copyright infringement cases with the four other major music labels -- Warner Brothers Music Group, EMI Group, BMG Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment. MP3 paid an estimated $US20 million to settle each case, according to analysts and observers.

More legal action was taken against MP3.com this week. Zomba Recording, which is home to top teen acts like Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, filed suit against MP3.com, alleging copyright infringement on its collection.

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