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MP3.COM BENCHED

Judge Denies Controversial Net Music Site A Trial
So much for the My.MP3.com.Trial.

MP3.com's request for a jury trial in the copyright-infringement suit filed by an array of record labels has been denied, the Hollywood Reporter said today. Judge Jed Rakoff, siding with plaintiffs' rep the RIAA, declared on 8/7 that he intended to rule from the bench in the case.

For those of you too stoned to remember, the suit charges the music-service provider created an online database of streamable music without permission from content holders. Streams were then accessible to users of MP3.com software to demonstrate physical possession of the CD to be streamed.

Since MP3.com has now settled with four of the major-label groups who initially filed suit—Warner Music Group, EMI, BMG and most recently, Sony Music (see hitsdailydouble.comRumor Mill)—Hillary Rosen's fire-and-brimstone RIAA consortium now represents only UMG in the case.

Judge Rakoff deemed MP3.com's request for the trial "much-belated." Even so, rumors continue to fly that UMG may choose to cut a deal with the site as well.

Rosen, meanwhile, flexed her political clout this week by hosting a Democratic "Girl Power" luncheon honoring Al Gore's campaign manager Donna Brazile. Rosen shared the spotlight with distaff liberal luminaries like Gloria Steinem and former Texas Governor Ann Richards.

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