The site had sold over 67,000 songs by the band plus those by acts including Coldplay for 25 cents each. The EMI, Capitol and Virgin record labels sued owner Hank Risan.
Judge Josephine Tucker deemed that the site had breached copyright and was unfair competition, reports BBC News.
Risan had claimed that copyright had not been breached, saying he’d used a technique called “psycho-acoustic simulation” to make the tracks unique. This was rejected by the judge – as the songs had been originally bought on CD.
BlueBeat.com is still active despite the fine.