WEB OF INTRIGUE

A copyright dispute leads to the removal of access to songs from all major label artists...

Under-fire website MP3.COM have removed access to songs from all major label artists on their database while it attempts to settle a copyright dispute with the RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (RIAA).

The RIAA, an umbrella organisation incorporating the major record labels Sony, BMG/RCA, Capitol, Warner Brothers and Arista, allege mp3.com have violated copyright law, and are seeking damages running into billions of dollars.

On April 28, a US court ruled mp3.com had infringed on artists’ copyrights after creating a database estimated to be in the region of 80,000 albums. The website allows computer owners with an original copy of an album to register that record in a database. The user can then listen to their record via the Internet, without having to carry the original CD.

In a statement posted on [url=]www.mp3.com, Michael Robertson, Chairman of mp3.com, writes: “I want to emphasise that we are not shutting down the Mp3.com service. For the time being, however, you will not be able to access any CDs you “beamed” to your account that are affected by the judgement.

“We will stay the course, do the right thing and remain optimistic about securing a license so we can return your music to you soon as possible.”

In the short-term, mp3.com will allow users to stream tracks from their other channels, including classical music, promotional tracks, and songs on labels which have not been affected by the court judgement.