News > Technology blinks
May 10, 2000: 7:40 p.m. ET

Following legal defeat, bars major artists from online music service
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Online music company on Wednesday said it would disable from its My.MP3.Com service, its customers' access to music from major record labels, two weeks after a federal court said infringed on the record companies' copyrights.

San Diego-based (MPPP: Research, Estimates) called the move an "act of good faith" while it continues settlement talks. But the move was inevitable, Wall Street experts say, in light of U.S. District Court Judge Rakoff's April 28 decision that was liable for copyright infringement.

graphic"We regret the need to take this step, which inconveniences more than 500,000 account holders," Robin Richards, president, said in a statement. "While we disagree with the court's decision, we also want to demonstrate our good faith and strong desire to achieve an expeditious business resolution."

In January, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a music industry trade group representing the five largest music conglomerates, filed the suit, which sought to shut down the company's Web site RIAA represents the five leading record companies, EMI, Universal, BMG, Sony, and Warner Bros., which is owned by Time Warner, the parent company of

"We think their decision to take down the unauthorized works is a natural result of the court's decision," an RIAA spokesman told He refused to comment on the status of negotiations with or how the development affects the copyright suit.

RIAA filed the suit after in January launched, and its Instant Listening and Beam-it services, which allows visitors to listen on a computer anywhere to a CD they already purchased and had at home.

graphicIn order to support the service, stockpiled more than 80,000 music disks, and stored them digitally for playback to its customers. RIAA charged that did not receive permission from the artists and their record labels in order to offer such a service, thereby violating copyright law. said its still hopes to settle the infringement issue, and to reach an agreement to obtain legal access to the record companies' musical works.

"We expect to restore user access to the 'Big Five' major label groups' content if and when a settlement is reached and licenses are executed," Roberts said.

In the interim, enthusiasts can still use the service to hear songs performed by several thousand musicians, mostly unsigned and unknown, but not the music of the major labels, which feature the artists who top the charts. Back to top


Court rules against - Apr. 28, 2000


Recording Industry Association of America

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