EMI Adds Insult To Bankruptcy In Misguided Gloating Over MP3Tunes Demise

from the time-poorly-spent dept

We already wrote about EMI's success in bankrupting MP3Tunes via overly aggressive litigation. But, now the company has decided to add insult to bankruptcy with a bizarrely gloating statement provided to News.com's Greg Sandoval.
Since November 2007, EMI Music and EMI Music Publishing have been engaged in a lawsuit with MP3tunes and its principal, Michael Robertson, in connection with Mr. Robertson's facilitation of widespread copyright infringement on MP3tunes.com and Sideload.com. These sites have built their businesses on the unauthorized distribution of music, at the expense of EMI's songwriters and artists.
Here, they're simply lying. The court ruling in the MP3Tunes case stated explicitly: "MP3tunes did not promote infringement." To claim otherwise is to ignore what the court stated flat out.
Now on the eve of trial, and after an ongoing press campaign claiming that MP3tunes would fight to vindicate its 'right' to infringe, Mr. Robertson has filed for bankruptcy protection for MP3tunes in the Southern District of California. After four and a half years of Robertson's bluster and rhetoric, it is apparent to EMI that Robertson has finally realized that his case has no merit.

While Robertson may believe that MP3tunes will be able to escape liability in the upcoming trial through this bankruptcy, Robertson himself is still a named defendant in the case and the Court has already determined that both he and MP3tunes have infringed EMI's copyrights. As such, he is facing personal liability both for infringements that the Court has already determined have occurred and for the further alleged infringements that will be addressed at trial. Accordingly, EMI will continue to pursue its case against Robertson, to ensure that its songwriters and artists are properly compensated for their creative work.
This makes no sense, and is even self-contradictory. As they state above -- and which everyone here knows -- filing for bankruptcy does not get you out of a copyright damages award. Thus, there is no reason whatsoever for the company to file for bankruptcy "to escape liability." That's impossible. The only reason to file for bankruptcy is because the company is out of money from fighting the damn lawsuit. And it's bizarre for EMI to claim that Robertson realized his case has no merit, considering that he mostly won the original lawsuit. Yes, there were a few key points that he lost on, which may turn out to be expensive if he loses on appeal and depending on the damages calculation, but the key elements of the case were won by Robertson and MP3Tunes.

It seems here that EMI is simply insulting Robertson out of spite. In the meantime, Robertson has pointed out that EMI spent $10 million suing him -- or more than the entire cost to build and run MP3Tunes. Remember that some exploration into how much EMI makes from Katy Perry's hugely successful album showed that the label probably ended up with about $8 million? Yeah, so basically it spent more suing Michael Robertson than it got from Katy Perry. Perhaps that money could have been better spent. No wonder the company was taken over by a bank and then sold off in pieces. Its priorities are a complete mess.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2014 @ 7:09pm

    No, it IS a tragedy

    Despite what people feel about EMI being like this about MP3's, losing a company with an amazing and varied history like EMI is bad, and this history of the company shows why.

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