Warner sues Imeem

Pay up, playlisters

When Imeem launched last year, it appeared to be yet another pastel-coloured Web 2.0 technology looking for an application. Who needed a web-based IM service, we wondered?

But by stealth, Imeem has quietly transformed itself into a music sharing network boasting 16m users. Although it signed a partnership with SNOCAP in March to use the latter's digital song registry, Imeem failed to land any licensing deals. Now it's attracted the inevitable lawsuit.

The Warner Music Group filed suit yesterday in a District Court in California, claiming copyright infringement. Imeem warns users not to upload copyright material, but Warner isn't impressed:

"Imeem is no innocent infringer. It invites Imeem's millions of users to flock to its website to copy, adapt, distribute and perform unlicensed sound recordings and music videos," claims the suit.

Imeem has yet to issue a statement on the action. Warner lawyers may add that not every plucky start-up launches a music sharing service and then waits for a lawsuit. Mercora and Sonific are just two who cut what licensing deals they could first. ®

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