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"By investing both millions of dollars and management resources in Napster—which was an illegal enterprise built on the unlawful distribution of copyrighted works—Bertelsmann enabled and encouraged the wholesale theft of copyrighted music."
——EMI's lawsuit against Bertelsmann

EMI FILES, WON’T FORGET, BERTELSMANN’S SUPPORT OF NAPSTER

Music Company Joins Universal With Their Own Suit Against Bertelsmann
They refuse to let Napster die.

The controversial file-sharing service, acquired along with Pressplay by Roxio, which intends to relaunch it as a legitimate service (see hitsdailydouble.com, 5/19), is now the subject of a suit by EMI Recorded Music against Bertelsmann. EMI insists the latter's investment in the company "materially contributed to the massive infringement of the [its] Copyrighted Works."

The label group also accused Bertelsmann of "providing the necessary funding in order to keep the infringing Napster system operating, and participating in the management and decision-making of Napster."

Last month, Universal Music Group filed a similar suit against Bertelsmann, citing its involvement with Napster (see hitsdailydouble.com, 5/12).

According to the filing, EMI is asking for damages of $150k per copyright infringement.

In a statement EMI said it "is fighting to protect our right to control and receive the benefits of our copyrights and the rights of our artists to share in and enjoy those benefits and be compensated for their valuable creative endeavors. We believe we have a strong case and we will of course ensure that our artists benefit from what we believe we will be a successful outcome to this litigation. By investing both millions of dollars and management resources in Napster—which was an illegal enterprise built on the unlawful distribution of copyrighted works—Bertelsmann enabled and encouraged the wholesale theft of copyrighted music."

Industry insiders feel the two music companies' case against Bertelsmann is a winnable one. 

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