MP3.COM, UMG CASE GOES ON

Judge Denies Universal’s Motion
For Summary Judgment
A federal judge Thursday (11/2) denied the Universal Music Group's motion for a summary judgment in its case against MP3.com. UMG claimed that its copyright certificates are valid as registered "works made for hire."

MP3.com, meanwhile, hoped to escape a potential $167.5 million judgment by arguing that virtually all of UMG's copyright registrations were invalid.

On Thursday, lawyers for UMG and MP3.com faced off in a New York courtroom again to discuss how many of UMG's copyrights MP3.com allegedly infringed upon.

"I'm at a loss to understand what's in dispute here," said Judge Jed Rakoff of UMG's motion. "I don't see anything (valid). You are seeking as a matter of law that copyrights belong to you as works for hire. The motion as stated in the papers is denied."

Rakoff also said the validity of the certificates could be disputed during trial if the defense chooses to introduce them as evidence.

MP3.com claims that because sound recordings are not listed as a category designated as works for hire in the Copyright Act, many of UMG's certificates are fraudulent, and therefore, the online company does not need to pay damages for those works. UMG argues that while sound recordings may or may not be considered works for hire, MP3.com is nonetheless liable for copyright infringement.

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