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Saturday, 24 June, 2000, 05:15 GMT 06:15 UK
Music giants sue 'pirates'
MP3Board.com
MP3Board says it merely helps searchers find music
By BBC News Online's Kevin Anderson in Washington

Some of America's biggest recording labels have brought another court case against an internet site which allows users to download popular music for free.

Industry giants such as Sony, Music Entertainment and Warner Brothers Records accuse MP3Board.com of musical piracy.

The law suit alleges that the site links users to illegal copies of copyright-protected music, which they can then download free of charge.

It claims the site has become a centralised and leading resource for pirates seeking illegal copies of virtually any recording and has become one of the most visited music sites on the web.

Music war

MP3Board.com uses compression technology that allows CD quality audio files to be easily stored on home computers and distributed over the internet.

However, lawyers for the company say it merely provides a search service that allows users to easily locate music on the internet.

This is just the latest suit the world's recording companies have brought against sites which allow users to download high-quality copies of popular music.

Earlier this year the recording industry won a suit against MP3.com - another unrelated music site - which agreed to begin paying licensing fees to major recording labels for the copyrighted music it provided.

The industry has also filed a suit against music software company Napster, which makes a programme that allows users to search for and share music files easily over the internet.

The suits come as the music industry is struggling to develop its own online sales and distribution strategy.

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See also:

10 May 00 | Business
EMI enters digital music arena
09 May 00 | Entertainment
The music industry's MP3 headache
18 Jan 00 | Business
Internet 'transforms music industry'
13 Jun 00 | Business
Napster closure threat
09 Jun 00 | Business
MP3.com settles suit
04 May 00 | Entertainment
Metallica's offline request
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