BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sci/Tech
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Tuesday, 22 August, 2000, 05:31 GMT 06:31 UK
MP3.com agrees Sony damages
Bruce Springsteen
The deal covers Bruce Springsteen and other Sony artists
Online music service MP3.com has reached a $20m (13m) damages settlement with Sony Music Entertainment, home to artists such as Jamiroquai, Bruce Springsteen and Mariah Carey.

The deal will allow the company to use the record label's music under licence as part of its internet-based service.


This settlement affirms and upholds the right of copyright owners

Al Smith, vice-president Sony
However, the payment only represents damages during past violations of copyright.

In future, MP3.com will make 'royalty' payments every time a user registers a Sony CD, or downloads one of its songs.

The deal is believed to be similar to earlier agreements reached between MP3.com and the Time-Warner, EMI, and Bertelsmann (BMG) music giants.

"This settlement affirms and upholds the right of copyright owners to be paid for the use of their works on the internet," said Al Smith, senior vice-president at Sony Entertainment.

Copyright infringement

Although the settlement has been reached out of court, a judge has ruled that a trial is still necessary to resolve other cases of copyright infringement by the San Diego based company.

The case is expected to resume on 28 August. Earlier this year, MP3.com said it had set aside a fund of $150m to meet legal settlements with music companies and publishers.

MP3s are highly compressed digital audio files.

Compressing large amounts of data - in this case music - makes MP3s the most popular way of storing and exchanging music on the internet because of the relatively short download time involved.

Part of MP3.com's site also allows users with original copies of CD's to upload them onto the site. Users can then listen to these from any computer without having to insert the original disc.

However in April, a court ruled that MP3.com's huge database broke copyright laws and ordered the company to make settlements with the music companies or face billion dollar damages claims.

The Seagram company's Universal Music Group is the only major music company still to reach a settlement with MP3.com, although there are still several music publishers with outstanding claims.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

02 Aug 00 | Sci/Tech
MP3 players move into the big league
28 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Courts grant Napster reprieve
06 Jun 00 | Entertainment
MP3: A novice's guide
30 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Doing the rights thing
09 May 00 | Entertainment
The music industry's MP3 headache
10 May 00 | Business
EMI enters digital music arena
07 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Swapping without suing
28 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Big digital disk debuts
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Sci/Tech stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sci/Tech stories