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Last Updated: Friday, 11 July, 2003, 05:51 GMT 06:51 UK
Record firms sue Puretunes
computer user putting CD-Rom into computer
Have consumers been "misled"?
The operator of the Spanish website puretunes.com is being sued by record companies over its online music sales.

The website, which was closed down last month after just a few weeks online, had been charging $3.99 for eight hours of unlimited music downloads, or $24.99 per month.

Puretunes.com operator Sakfield Holding stands accused of unlawfully copying and distributing several thousand copyrighted tunes by world famous artists.

The record companies Arista Records, BMG Music, Capitol Records and Sony Music Entertainment are seeking up to $150,000 per copyright song, in addition to other financial damages.

No licence

According to the suit, those buying music by artists such as U2, Elvis Presley and Britney Spears from puretunes.com were led to believe that their purchases were legal.

Puretunes.com had claimed that its operations were in compliance with Spanish copyright laws and insisted that it had obtained licences from trade associations in Spain that represent music publishers and artists, the record companies said.

"At all times, defendants knew that they were not authorized by the copyright owners, or by law, to distribute, copy or in any way exploit... copyrighted recordings," the suit said.

The record companies were able to bring the case in a US court because Sakfield is doing business in Washington DC and because the puretunes.com site has been maintained through a US-based server.




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