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Wednesday, 19 July, 2000, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
MP3 website fights back
mp3board.com grab
MP3Board.com provides search engines to locate MP3 files
A website which help users find MP3 files on the internet is taking legal action against the recording industry, while being sued itself.

MP3Board.com said it was taking the action against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the group's role in temporarily shutting down its website.

The music industry body succeeded in shutting down the music site by threatening its web hosting company, Abovenet, with a copyright infringement suit.

The site, run by a privately-owned company, has come under fire from some of America's biggest recording labels for alleged infringement of copyright.

Legal wrangles

The companies, which include BMG, Sony Music and Warner Music, want to prevent MP3Board from linking users to "pirated" copies of their music.

MP3 software and websites enable users to swap songs over the internet without copyright payments to artists or music companies.

mp3.com grab
MP3 sites are hugely popular with users
But the site does not contain MP3 files, and the company claims that linking to other websites and files does not constitute copyright infringement even if the destination has infringing content.

Members of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have been embroiled in court cases with 'music-sharing' software companies and websites, including Napster and MP3.com.

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

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

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See also:

24 Jun 00 | Americas
Music giants sue 'pirates'
18 Jul 00 | Entertainment
MP3 fans target politicians
15 Jul 00 | Business
EMI tests web music sales
18 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
Hackers' hero faces piracy test case
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