Feeds

RIAA sues Spanish music site

Out of tune

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said Wednesday it has filed a lawsuit against the Spanish company Puretunes.com, claiming the service had defrauded its customers into believing that its service was licensed by record labels. Puretunes disappeared last month without any explanation, leaving behind many seething customers, some of whom had paid a full year in advance.

Puretunes had previously stated it was a legal music service operating under licensing agreements from various Spanish trade associations representing performers and recording artists, including Sociedad Gerneral de Autores y Editores (SGAE) and the Asociacion de Artistas, Interpretes y Ejecutantes (AIE).

It also stated that under Spanish law it didn't need to acquire the permission of labels, artists or song publishers. A similar Spanish company, Weblisten.com, has been sued multiple times, but is still operating.

Puretunes billed its all-you-can-eat business model as a cheaper, less restrictive alternative to record-industry backed services. It even struck a deal for distribution and advertising with popular P2P service Grokster.

However, some customers began to notice odd things. Many of the files downloaded from the site had ID tags from the Russian legal music service www.allofmp3.com. The German site Heise Online counted at least 16 of those files, suggesting they may have been copied. Mediaservices, the Russian company behind Allofmp3.com, today confirmed in an e-mail that "we do not contribute to Puretunes and do not allow for content redistribution".

Even more revealing is the legal smokescreen Puretunes created to fight off possible court cases. While the lawsuit was filed against Sakfield Holding SA in Madrid, research by The Register shows that Sakfield is owned by a Dutch company called Chantik Financing Services B.V, which is administered by NCS in Amsterdam.

According to records of the Chambers of Commerce, Chantik has two owners, Dean Properties on the Caribbean island of Curaçao and MTM Group on Bermuda. Dean Properies is administrated by a trust agent from Miami. NCS declined to comment.

Despite its unclear ownership, the lawsuit was filed in U.S. federal court because the service operated as a business in the United States. When it was still up and running, Puretunes was hosted from Virginia by Cogent. The RIAA is seeking damages for copyright infringements. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.