Record label awarded $300,000 in case against MP3

CIOL Bureau
New Update

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.