EMI Lawsuit Against Michael Robertson Dismissed… But Continues Against MP3Tunes

from the the- dept

Remember when a private equity firm took over the major record label EMI, and insisted that things would be different, and it wouldn’t keep filing ridiculous lawsuits and pissing off fans. That’s not exactly what happened. EMI not only sued the service MP3Tunes but it personally sued Michael Robertson, the company’s founder as well, in an attempt to bankrupt him personally. The whole case seems hard to figure out. MP3Tunes simply lets individuals upload their own songs into a music locker, which they can then listen to from a browser. That seems perfectly legitimate under existing copyright law. It’s really no different than, say, putting music you own onto an MP3 player.

The good news is that a judge has thrown out the part of the lawsuit directed personally at Robertson — though the case against MP3Tunes will be allowed to continue. It appears that the suit against Robertson was tossed more for jurisdictional reasons than a recognition that it was a sleazy tactic to sue the founder personally, rather than focus just on the company. Hopefully, when the court hears the actual case, it recognizes that there’s nothing wrong with storing your own music online in a locker — but we’ll have to wait for the full case to run its course.

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Companies: emi

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Comments on “EMI Lawsuit Against Michael Robertson Dismissed… But Continues Against MP3Tunes”

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chris (profile) says:

Re: Why don't they get it?

Question: What is the difference between a network player and a an iPod, provided no sharing is supported?

i imagine that it’s based on the [tortured] logic that uploading music to the internet [regardless of it’s intended use] is illegal.

just like the satellite radio that lets you record to mp3s that you can’t move off of the radio that had the music industry up in arms a year or two ago, the industry thinks that mp3s should be illegal and is using cases like this against products and services like these to move the law in that direction.

Scott Lithgow (user link) says:

Cost Again


Almost the same issue as another item. Something should be done to stop massive corporate entities hitting peropel with massive legal bills when they are just trying to make an honest living.

EMI will just move on to the next target whilst Robertson has to try to pick up the rest of life as I am sure there is a lot stress associated with this + cost

Keith Jolie says:

Give Michael Robertson and award

Isn’t this the same guy that started mp3.com years back? If it is, he should get an award of some kind – he’s friggin genius. I sold my first cd as a recording artist through mp3.com, and back then he was WAY ahead of the curve (you uploaded your tracks, artwork, liner notes etc.) and extra features and fans could buy an enhanced CD with pro packaging ON-Demand. That was in 1998…

Anyway – mp3.com got shut down and eventually bought out over the tunes locker he was running back then (it was called beam it), and quite frankly I think the record companies should be shot over this…it’s a great idea that gives users the ability to play their music everywhere they go, and get this…actually REDUCES copying of the file (since you don’t need to…) you’d think they’d be all over this.

…Give Michael Robertson a lifetime achievement award.

Keith Jolie

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