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Judge batters Bluebeat with injunction over Beatles downloads

Site owner gives long and winding explanation

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An LA judge has slapped an injunction on the Californian website that was flogging downloads of the Beatles catalogue at 25 cents a pop.

According to the LA Times, Judge John F Walter said the defendant in the case, BlueBeat.com and its owner, Hank Risan, rejected Bluebeat's argument that it had not breached copyright in the recordings, because it was actually selling “psychoacoustic simulations” of the Beatles tracks.

Bluebeat's argument seems to be that its downloads were exempt under US copyright laws, because it had made its own sound recordings of the tracks.

Capitol - EMI's local operation - clearly reckons this is a posh name for hometaping and went after Bluebeat earlier this month.

Yesterday, the judge appeared to concur, writing, according to the LA Times: “[Bluebeat owner] Mr Risan fails to provide any details or evidence about the ‘technological process’ that defendants contend was used to create the ‘new’ recordings or adequately explain how the ‘new’ recordings differ in any meaningful way from plaintiffs' recordings.”

He added that he could not detect any "meaningful difference between Bluebeat's recordings and the originals".

Risan told the LA Times that he had the label's permission to work with the recordings, as part of a "secret agreement", and that he was shocked at the injunction. ®

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