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Sunday, 18 August, 2002, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Labels move to block 'piracy' site
MSN search screen
Access to the site has been blocked
A group of major record labels have sued internet service providers to block access to a website they claim allows people to copy music.

The copyright infringement suit was filed in Manhattan federal court by companies including Universal, BMG, Sony and Warner Brothers.

It demanded that internet providers including AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Sprint and WorldCom block access to Listen4ever.com.

Mary J Blige
Mary J Blige's album allegedly appeared on the site
The record companies claim Listen4ever.com allows users to download music from a central location containing thousands of files, enabling them to make illegal copies.

The suit alleges tracks by Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera, Eric Clapton, Whitney Houston and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been unlawfully distributed through the site.

It also says some tracks have been distributed before they were commercially released, such as Mary J Blige's album Dance For Me.

The site's domain name was registered in January 2002 by an individual in Tianjin, east of the Chinese capital, Beijing.

But the record companies say any information on who runs the site is "strikingly absent" from it.

Court papers say Listen4ever.com is "even more egregious" than Napster, the file-swapping service which was shut down by court order.

"Listen4ever has clearly located itself in China to avoid the ambit of US copyright law," the papers add.

An AT&T spokeswoman told the New York Times the company had never before been asked to block access to a foreign site. Access to the site had been blocked by Saturday night.

See also:

12 Aug 02 | Business
27 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
14 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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