Bertelsmann seeks to block Napster lawsuits

Bertelsmann AG has asked a New York court to dismiss three copyright infringement lawsuits associated with the German media group's investment in defunct song-swap pioneer Napster Inc.

Bertelsmann filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against claims by EMI Group PLC, Universal Music Group Recordings Inc. (UMG) and another unnamed group, who have charged the German media giant and its U.S. operations with "vicarious and contributory" copyright infringement through their involvement in Napster, Bertelsmann said Thursday in a statement.

The motion to dismiss was jointly submitted by Bertelsmann, in Gütersloh, Germany, and its U.S. subsidiaries Bertelsmann Inc. and BeMusic Inc.

Napster, which created an Internet song-swapping service based on peer-to-peer (P-to-P) technology, entered into a strategic partnership in 2000 with Bertelsmann, which helped fund the Internet start-up.

The music companies have alleged that if it weren't for Bertelsmann's funding of Napster, the P-to-P service would have been shuttered in 2000 instead of in 2001, when it was ordered to shut down by a California federal court. The music companies, which filed their lawsuit in February, are seeking damages of $17 billion.

No court has ever held that by providing money to an accused infringer, a funder is exposed to copyright infringement liability, Bertelsmann said in its motion to dismiss the lawsuits. Such a "groundless and discredited" theory, the company argued, would upset capital markets by potentially expanding the reach of copyright laws to actors far removed from the actual infringers.

The plaintiffs have four weeks to respond to the Bertelsmann motion, after which the German media group has a further four weeks to respond, according to a Bertelsmann spokesman. "Then it is up to the judge to decide how to proceed," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?