updated 08:50 am EDT, Thu May 18, 2006
Music copyright lawsuit
A small group of independent music publishers have filed a class action lawsuit against iTunes and other major online music services for failing to secure licenses to sell song downloads. The lawsuit alleges that these services have not followed proper procedures for obtaining copyrights to certain songs available for purchase via the internet. "Even though copyright law provides for compulsory licenses -- so that publishers cannot refuse to license previously recorded and released songs if proper procedures are followed -- the online services failed to follow those procedures," according to the complaint obtained by Billboard Radio Monitor.
Filed in federal District Court in Los Angeles, Billboard reports that the copyright infringement suit names Apple as a defendent along with other digial music services, such as AOL Music Now, Buy.com, Microsoft, Napster, RealNetworks Digital Music of California, Record Town, Sony Connect, Virgin Entertainment Group, Wal-Mart and Yahoo!. A similar lawsuit was filed against Napster last December by indie publisher MCS Music America, the U.S. arm of the U.K. publisher.