Only two days after a judge found the company guilty of "willfully infringing" the Universal Music Group's copyrights, Internet music company MP3.com Inc. announced that it will relaunch its My.MP3.com service starting in a few weeks.
My.MP3.com lets users register, or "beam" as MP3.com calls it, their CDs with the company's more than 80,000 CD database, which then allows users to listen to the songs they own from any computer with an Internet connection. Universal successfully argued that MP3.com violated Universal copyrights by including an estimated 4,700 CDs in the company's song database without permission. My.MP3.com has been deactivated since April.
It is unclear how MP3.com's reactivation of My.MP3.com will affect its appeal of the verdict.
Universal had asked for US$450 million in damages. Judge Jed Rakoff declined to award that amount, the maximum allowed under the law, and instead ruled on Sept. 6 that MP3.com must pay Universal $118 million or $25,000 per CD. The $118 million may be adjusted after it is determined exactly how many of Universal's CDs MP3.com included in its service.
The other four "major labels," Warner Brothers Music Group Inc., EMI Group PLC, BMG Entertainment Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment Inc., settled their suits against MP3.com for an estimated $20 million each. The settlements allow MP3.com to include CDs from those label's back catalogs in the My.MP3.com service.
Additional details to follow.
MP3.com, in San Diego, California, can be reached at +1-858-623-7000 or http://www.mp3.com/.