updated 01:10 am EDT, Fri May 11, 2012
EMI continues suit, pursues CEO and company
In the latest maneuver during a legal battle with EMI that began in 2007, MP3Tunes has filed for bankruptcy. The move puts the ongoing case on hold, and could prevent a judgement in the matter. EMI isn't abandoning the suit, and as the CEO of MP3Tunes is a co-defendant in the case, he is personally facing liability for the alleged infringements.
EMI's primary copyright infringement claim against MP3Tunes was that site leadership encouraged users to locate pirated songs on sideload.com and store the files on Mp3Tunes' servers. Michael Robertson, the founder of MP3Tunes, claimed that EMI's strategy in court was no more complex than attrition. In a post on his blog, Robertson wrote that EMI spent $10 million or more with multiple lawyers to attack MP3Tunes. He continues to claim that even if a startup wins a battle versus a recording company, they will have no more operating capital to continue.
EMI has no intention of ceasing legal action against MP3Tunes and Robertson. In a harshly-worded statement published earlier today, EMI said "Now on the eve of trial, and after an ongoing press campaign claiming that MP3Tunes would fight to vindicate its 'right' to infringe, Mr. Robertson has filed for bankruptcy protection for MP3Tunes in the Southern District of California. After four and a half years of Robertson's bluster and rhetoric, it is apparent to EMI that Robertson has finally realized that his case has no merit." EMI stands to be awarded up to $75 million dollars in damages.
Opened in 2005, MP3Tunes was one of the first online music storage services. MP3Tunes predated Google Music and Amazon's offerings by several years. Digital music sales by MP3Tunes were discontinued in 2008. Robertson was also deeply immersed in both the MP3.com and Linspire debacles. Initial judgements against Mp3Tunes were made in August 2011.