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EasyEverything fights music biz over download demands

BPI wanted £1m from cybercafe chain

Cybercafe chain EasyEverything is digging in its heels over the music industry's attempt to make it cough up £100,000 for allowing its customers to download music from the Net.

EasyEverything - which vigorously defends its brand name and is happy to chase domain owners who include the term "easy" in their URL - said it stopped allowing its punters to burn CDs around a year ago.

However, earlier this year the British Phonographic Industry (BPI's) demanded that the cybercafe cough up £1m to cover the cost of lost revenues for the record industry caused by people downloading music for free.

When this was rejected, the BPI revised the figure downwards to £380,000.

In the latest ultimatum the BPI has told EasyEverything to cough up £100,000 by August 14 - or else.

EasyEverything has dismissed this latest claim and instead offered the BPI £20,000 in a bid to avoid the cost of dragging the matter through the courts.

A spokesman for EasyEverything said that the company had cooperated fully with the BPI over the matter.

But he exclaimed: "They're holding a gun to our heads."

The BPI declined to comment except to say that the legal process is ongoing. ®

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