Feeds

MP3.com damages to be set next week

Payout could be massive - or massively massive...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

US District Judge Jed S Rakoff will next week decide whether MP3.com wilfully used 5000-odd CDs owned by record label Universal without permission - and how much the online music company must pay up in damages.

The Judge's ruling is expected on Wednesday, and will come after four days' of testimony from both sides this week.

Judge Rakoff ruled earlier this year that MP3.com had infringed the copyrights of major labels when it compiled a database of over 80,000 CDs on which it based its MyMP3.com service. MyMP3.com allowed CD owners to listen to music they'd already purchased from any Web-connected PC anywhere in the world.

Even though MyMP3.com users were in spirit listening to music they own - just as if they ripped their own CDs to a portable digital music player - the labels contended that in practice they were listening to discs owned by MP3.com, to which they had no right. In short, MP3.com was engaging in copyright violation.

MP3.com will have argued that it believed it was in the right, and ask the Judge to impose a lenient fine. Certainly, Rakoff appears to be leaning that way, having already said that the company will be fined on the basis of the number of CDs it used, not the number of songs, a decision that could cut MP3.com's fine by a factor of ten.

Still, with some 5000 or more CDs in question, MP3.com is not going to walk away lightly, even if the judge imposes the minimum fine. That would still result in a payment to Universal of $3.75 million. At maximum, the fine could easily exceed $150 million. Judge Rakoff will also have to decide just how many copyrights MP3.com violated.

MP3.com is believed to have already paid out around $20 million apiece to EMI, Sony, Warner and BMG - all of whom, along with Universal, brought the copyright violation case in the first place - in private settlements. MP3.com this week blamed the lack of agreement with Universal because the label wants to put it out of business. ®

Related Stories

Universal wants us dead - MP3.com
Judge limits MP3.com copyright settlement payout
MP3.com offers to pull major label tracks from MyMP3.com
MP3.com vs RIAA judge explains his verdict
Court finds MP3.com guilty of copyright violation

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.