MP3.com to resume My.MP3.com service

My.MP3.com lets users register, or "beam" as MP3.com calls it, their CDs with the company's more than 80,000 CD database, which then allows users to listen to the songs they own from any computer with an Internet connection. Universal successfully argued that MP3.com violated Universal copyrights by including an estimated 4,700 CDs in the company's song database without permission. My.MP3.com has been deactivated since April.

The decision to resume the My.MP3.com service was made because the company already had agreements in place with four other major record labels allowing the service to offer CDs from those company's catalogues and because "consumers were clamouring for it," according to an MP3.com spokesman. Universal's music makes up only about 20 per cent of the music database, the spokesman said.

The renewed My.MP3.com service will include all of MP3.com's CD database, with the exception of any Universal CDs.

It is unclear how MP3.com's reactivation of My.MP3.com will affect its appeal of the verdict.

Universal had asked for $US450 million in damages. Judge Jed Rakoff declined to award that amount, the maximum allowed under the law, and instead ruled on September 6 that MP3.com must pay Universal $US118 million or $Us25,000 per CD. The $US118 million may be adjusted after it is determined exactly how many of Universal's CDs MP3.com included in its service.

The other four "major labels," Warner Brothers Music Group, EMI Group, BMG Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment, settled their suits against MP3.com for an estimated $US20 million each. The settlements allow MP3.com to include CDs from those label's back catalogs in the My.MP3.com service.

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Sam Costello

PC World

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