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MP3.com to Pay Jury Verdict

April 07, 2001|Bloomberg News

Online music provider MP3.com must pay about $300,000 to independent music label Tee Vee Toons for copyright infringement, a federal jury ruled, falling far short of Tee Vee Toons' bid for $8.5 million. Executives of MP3.com, which has paid out $130 million in copyright battles with record labels in the last year, said the modest verdict should deter other copyright holders from suing the online music provider. "It should send a message to the entertainment industry--from technical companies to music companies to digital companies--that it's time to move forward," company President Robin Richards said. Tee Vee Toons, the largest independent label in the U.S., is one of more than a dozen record companies that have sued MP3.com for distributing their songs on the Internet. About half of those suits are pending. MP3.com contended that its damages should be minimal because, in part, the copyright registrations that the label had filed with the U.S. Copyright Office were invalid. The company's shares have fallen more than 90% in the last year. MP3.com shares rose 19 cents to close at $1.81 on Nasdaq.

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