RIAA aims to bid adios to Puretunes

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has put another online music company in its legal crosshairs, this time aiming to bid adios to Spanish site Puretunes.

The group filed a suit on July 3 against Puretunes parent company Sakfield Holding in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, accusing it of offering illegal music downloads.

Puretunes.com debuted in May, hoping to take advantage of the ability of Spanish artist and performance rights' societies to sign deals offering unlimited music downloads.

The site went offline last month, however, amid complaints from users who feared the owners had run off with their subscription fees.

Puretunes representatives could not be located Thursday to comment on the suit.

In its compliant, the RIAA claimed that despite Puretunes' claims, the site's owners had not sought or obtained licenses for the music they were selling.

"It's bad enough that Puretunes was selling music illegally -- it's even worse that they tried to perpetrate a fraud on the public by claiming that they were a legitimate business," the RIAA said in a statement released Thursday.

The group is seeking an injunction against the site in addition to damages and attorneys' fees.

The lawsuit is just the latest in a series of legal actions the music industry has taken against those accused of offering illegal music downloads.

Since suing notorious peer-to-peer (P-to-P) file trading company Napster, which was finally forced offline last year, the music industry has targeted the new breed of P-to-P players like Kazaa, Grokster and Morpheus. Furthermore, the industry has recently said that it would be going after individuals who have downloaded copyright music illegally.

And given that the RIAA said in its complaint against Puretunes that "the theft of copyrighted music on the Internet has reached epidemic proportions," this latest suit is unlikely to be the last.

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Scarlet Pruitt

IDG News Service
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