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Friday, 31 August, 2001, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Britney label settles online lawsuit
Britney Spears
Britney is one of Zomba's biggest stars
The independent label behind Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys has settled its lawsuit against online music company

Zomba Records had alleged that, a unit of the French media giant Vivendi Universal, had infringed its artists' copyright on its service.

The service allowed users to create a virtual locker of CDs, enabling people to listen to them from any computer.

Backstreet Boys
Zomba represents boy band the Backstreet Boys
Zomba claimed that did not pay royalties to the artists whose music was involved.

The two parties have now settled the dispute and have established a licensing arrangement in order to work together in future, although the terms have yet to be revealed. said it was pleased the case with Zomba had been settled, particularly since its stated aim since its buy-out by Vivendi, is to run a legitimate service.

Last week more than 50 songwriters and music publishers filed another lawsuit against the site for copyright infringement.

The group, which includes the estate of Roy Orbison, the Bellamy Brothers and artist Paul Overstreet, is demanding damages for unpaid royalties as well as a permanent injunction against the site.

That case has not been resolved.


Vivendi Universal has only just completed the purchase of for $372m (240m).

The company immediately installed Robin Richards, who was the founding president of the online music provider, as chairman and chief executive.

The site is determined to transform itself into a legitimate service, having paid out more than $160m (110m) to major labels and publishers to resolve a copyright dispute.

It aims to rival a similar service, MusicNet, which is being set up by the other major record labels, owned by AOL Time Warner, EMI and Bertelsmann.

The labels hope their legitimate services will finally end the popularity of free online download services on sites like Napster, which has also been the focus of determined legal challenges.

See also:

29 May 01 | New Media
Record giant to share MP3 damages
23 Aug 01 | New Media
More legal trouble for
20 May 01 | New Media bought for $372m
01 Sep 01 | New Media sued for $40m
22 Aug 01 | New Media
Napster set to return
17 Aug 01 | Reviews
Sounding out web music
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