MP3tunes files for bankruptcy amid copyright claims
By Reuters and Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 11 May 2012 at 09:24
Online music storage firm MP3tunes has filed for bankruptcy in a US court, following its prolonged run-in with music publishing giant EMI over copyright issues, according to court filings.
EMI's lawsuit against MP3tunes and its chief executive, Michael Robertson, is part of the industry's efforts to stop websites from letting people download and share music online without paying for it.
Fourteen other record companies and music publishers were also part of the copyright case that was filed in 2007.
However, last year, a federal judge in Manhattan said MP3tunes and Robertson did not violate the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in permitting downloads, except as to songs specifically identified as having been pirated.
In essence, the judge said it was users rather than MP3tunes that were responsible for any infringements. But the court did find the defendants liable for "contributory" copyright infringement for songs where notices of alleged infringement were provided.
The judge had also said Robertson was liable for having personally transferred songs from unauthorised websites and the copyright case is still pending before the Southern District of New York court.
MP3tunes had filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 code, which envisages liquidation of a company's operation. In the court filing, the company had listed assets of about $7,800 and liabilities of $2.1 million.
There is as yet no news as to what will happen to user accounts, and the company website had no obvious signs of imminent closure when PC Pro checked, nor any notice of the court case on its blog.
At what point will whistling become illegal?
Some judge needs to have the common sense and integrity to tell these music companies where to get off.
Next thing all our emails and web-pages will be scanned by law as a matter of course for "copyright infringement" content. Is that joke you just emailed patent to SONY? Or is that photo of your child in the park copyright of local council because they own the park? See the judge...
By cheysuli on 11 May 2012
If you have paid for a PRS licence then you can whistle a tune in public.
By tirons1 on 11 May 2012
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