MP3.com faces new legal challenge

The class action complaint was filed on Thursday on behalf of music company Unity Entertainment and others by the law firm of Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack in US District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, MP3.com said in a statement.

The new suit comes two days after MP3.com ended its long-standing battle with the major record labels. On Tuesday, the company was ordered to pay $US53.4 million to Universal Music Group (UMG) to settle charges of copyright infringement.

In the statement, MP3.com chairman and chief executive officer Michael Robertson said "on behalf of both consumers and artists, we are disappointed to receive this complaint particularly in light of the strides we have made in securing licensing agreements from now all five of the major record labels." MP3.com "will respond to this filing appropriately," he said.

MP3.com hosts a large collection of digital music with more than 698,000 songs and audio files from over 109,000 digital artists and record labels, the company said.

The judge's order in the case involving UMG ended litigation that began in January when New York-based UMG and four other record companies filed suit against MP3.com, charging it with illegally copying thousands of CDs and then offering them as free Internet downloads.

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