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"Our view is that MP3.com knew that it was about to engage in a highly dangerous decision. MP3.com felt it needed to move quickly to get into this new market [of streaming music services], so it made a conscious decision and moved recklessly."
—Steven Fabrizio, Senior VP, Business and Legal Affairs, RIAA
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RIAA, MP3.COM
WAR NOT OVER YET

Beleaguered Site Still Negotiating With Sony, EMI, UMG; RIAA May Not Be Done Litigatin'
The Recording Industry Association of America, on behalf of the major music companies, plans to file another motion against MP3.com, despite a widespread portrayal that the labels and the online music distributor have reached an accord, and have teamed to combat their alleged common enemy, Napster.

News of the pending lawsuit came Tuesday (7/11), the same day that RIAA CEO hilary rosen',390,400);">hilary rosen',390,400);">Hilary Rosen and MP3.com head michael robertson',390,400);">michael robertson',390,400);">Michael Robertson shared a dais at Senate Committee hearings, titled "The Future of Digital Music: Is There an Upside to Downloading?" (hitsdailydouble.com, 7/11).

In its latest move, the RIAA contends that when MP3.com copied 80,000 CDs to create a database for its streaming music service, My.MP3.com, it acted willfully, reports online publication Webnoize.

"Our view is that MP3.com knew that it was about to engage in a highly dangerous decision," said Steven Fabrizio, Senior VP, Business and Legal Affairs, RIAA. "MP3.com felt it needed to move quickly to get into this new market [of streaming music services], so it made a conscious decision and moved recklessly."

The RIAA's motion for willful infringement is the latest step in the major label groups' copyright infringement case against the online company. In May, a federal judge ruled in a preliminary decision that MP3.com is liable for copyright infringement. Shortly thereafter, MP3.com said it would remove all of the major labels' recordings from its users' storage lockers (hitsdailydouble.com, 5/11).

In June, the company settled the case with Warner Music Group and BMG Entertainment , licensing their catalogs. MP3.com is still trying to negotiate settlements with Sony, EMI and Universal (hitsdailydouble.com, 6/6).

The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday asked Robertson why he had not licensed with the music companies originally, and why he had not yet settled with Sony. Fred Ehrlich, Sony's President of New Technology and Business Development, was also in attendance at the committee's hearing.

Robertson said his company was building a delivery system for streaming music at the time and didn't want to go to the music companies because MP3.com suspected they were investing in competing efforts.

As for a possible Sony settlement, Robertson declared, "We're working hard to resolve things with Sony." Ehrlich, posed a similar questions, retorted, "We've been in active conversations. This is a very complex issue. We're not opposed to the license."

Federal Judge Jed Rakoff will hear oral arguments concerning the latest motion on July 28 and a trial is scheduled for Aug. 28.

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