Record label awarded $300,000 in case against MP3

By : |April 7, 2001 0

Doug Young

LOS ANGELES: A New York jury on Friday ordered online music company
Inc. to pay about $300,000 in damages to an independent record label for
copyright infringement, as both sides claimed victory in the case and
said it would appeal.

A federal judge said that on previous precedent copyright violations had
occurred, and a jury was asked to determine damages in a case that went to trial
about two weeks ago. TVT founder Steve Gottlieb said the award vindicated his
company. "We prevailed," Gottlieb told Reuters. "If they’re going
to be good corporate citizens going forward, they should learn to respect
intellectual property. We’re pleased we resolved this … issue."

But MP3’s Greg Wilfahrt said TVT had been seeking as much as $8.5 million and
the much smaller $300,000 award showed the jury was largely unconvinced by TVT’s
argument. In fact, MP3 previously paid a much larger estimated $133 million to
end its copyright disputes with five major record labels.

"We believe this is a clear cut victory for MP3, and we also look
forward to having our argument brought before a different judge in the appellate

The decision comes as the major record labels are mounting their first major
push into online distribution of music after winning a long-running legal
campaign against the song-swapping service Napster. That service has been
ordered by a federal court to stop trade in copyrighted material.

Earlier this week, AOL Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Music Group, Bertelsmann
AG’s BMG Entertainment and EMI Group Plc said they have licensed their catalogs
to MusicNet, a new venture that will be powered by Internet software company
RealNetworks Inc.

Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company and a unit of
France’s Vivendi Universal, and Sony Music Entertainment have also joined forces
to make their record catalogs available online through a joint-venture called

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.

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