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MP3Tunes music locker bankrupt under legal duress

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 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 and Linspire debacles. Initial judgements against Mp3Tunes were made in August 2011.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bryanp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Robertson is a terrible CEO

    How many companies does he have to tank before people realize that he's a terrible CEO? got sued because of his recklessness. Linspire got sued because of his hubris. MP3tunes was sued because of his disregard for the law. He hasn't had a single success in his entire career. He made a bunch of money by being at the right place at the right time. But, he got it by s******* over a bunch of customers, artists and employees. He's unethical and he really has no clue what he's doing.

    An example of what I mean: the article said "MP3Tunes was one of the first online music storage services. MP3Tunes predated Google Music and Amazon's offerings by several years." Several years! You would figure that a guy with that big of a head start would either dominate the market or get bought out by a bigger company. Google has billions of dollars. They could have bought MP3tunes in a heartbeat. But, they didn't. Why not? My guess is that they took a look at his business and decided that they could do a better job if they created a locker of their own. Same with Amazon. The fact that this guy had a 4 year head start and blew it speaks volumes.

    Now he's trying to pull the same gimmick with He's trying to get millions of users to sign up so he can turn around and flip the company. Most likely he'll end up getting sued by a big company like Clear Channel, CBS, or ESPN for stealing their radio content and rebroadcasting it. Do yourself a favor, and don't give this guy any of your money. He knows how to make a good smoke and mirror magic show. But, don't be fooled. If you give him your money you can watch Robertson make it disappear.

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