MP3.com strikes back

MP3.com has issued proceedings against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a non-profit making trade association of US record companies, and its Chief Executive, Hilary Rosen claiming illegal interference with its business operations.

The proceedings against the RIAA come after the RIAA had itself issued proceedings against MP3.com over MP3.com’s new online CD listening service “Beam-It”.  The RIAA claims that the service, which allows members to upload their CD collection for online listening via any PC connected to the internet, infringes copyright in its members’ recordings by making or authorising the making of infringing copies of the uploaded CDs.

MP3.com in its defence will argue that “Beam-It” will only allow an existing purchaser of a CD to listen to it on-line and that any attempt by the record companies to dictate the format in which people can listen to music purchased legitimately is contrary to fair use rights.  MP3.com’s proceedings accuse the RIAA and Ms Rosen of engaging in unfair business practices, interference with possible economic gains, trade libel and defamation.

This is the latest in a series of disputes between the RIAA and MP3 related companies.  The RIAA lost its action against Diamond Multimedia who manufacture the Diamond Rio MP3 player and, more recently, the RIAA has issued proceedings against Napster, a company whose website allows users to share MP3 files online.

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