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"We ended last quarter with $300 million in cash, so it's not quite the doomsday scenario that has been portrayed."
—MP3.com's Michael Robertson

MP3.COM STILL HOPES
TO SETTLE WITH UMG

Robertson Puzzled Why Universal Won’t Make A Deal; UMG Gives 118 Million Reasons
MP3.com, which is in the midst of a life-threatening copyright fight with Universal Music Group, still hopes to settle the suit.

"We're hoping to get to a business resolution with Universal," said Michael Robertson, founder of MP3.com, told the Financial Times. "I don't know why we're not there yet."

A federal judge ruled in September that the company had "willfully" violated copyrights held by UMG and set penalties at $25,000 per violation.

UMG says MP3.com should be held liable for 4,740 copyright registrations, and the judge's next step will be to determine whether that is a valid figure.

The Times said if Judge Jed Rakoff sides with Universal's calculation, MP3.com would owe $118 million in damages. While that amount would be damaging, it would not spell the end for MP3.com, Robertson said.

"We ended last quarter with $300 million in cash, so it's not quite the doomsday scenario that has been portrayed," he said last week.

MP3.com has settled similar suits brought by the four other big music companies. Robertson said those record companies now get paid every time a CD is loaded into the company's "storage locker" and every time a song is played by a user.

Robertson, who said he planned to appeal Rakoff's decision if the settlement talks with UMG fall through, believes the record companies will eventually depend on services that aggregate music from different labels and that ultimately it could help sell more music.

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