The company, whose roster includes Britney Spears and Steps, are the latest to join in the row which is dividing the music industry...

ZOMBA, the company whose roster includes artists like R Kelly, Britney Spears, *N SYNC, BACKSTREET BOYS, GROOVE ARMADA and STEPS, are the latest company to take legal issue with controversial download site mp3.com.

After a judge’s decision last week that mp3.com should pay the Universal Music Group millions of pounds for infringement of copyright, Zomba (who own subsidiaries including Jive, Jive Electro, Pepper and Silvertone) are claiming that mp3.com have “adopted a blatant strategy of attempting to unlawfully build a business by misappropriating us and our artists’ and writers’ goodwill, recordings, and songs”.

Mp3.com CEO Michael Robertson was keen to appeal last week’s Universal decision, and seems unlikely to concede Zomba‘s point of view.

Meanwhile, mp3.com‘s European chairman, Nigel Powell, has been confirmed for the In The Web 2000 discussion at this month’s In The City conference. The free event promises to include appearances from the other major mp3 sites, as well as representatives from major labels like Epic Records and music industry figures.

Entry to the talk, on 23 September, is free, and fans are invited to grill the labels, online music sites and web-based musicians. More information is available on the event’s website, [url=]www.intheweb2000.com.