EMI Sues Bertelsmann Over Napster
Litigation against Bertelsmann over its relationship with Napster continues to build, as EMI Group yesterday (June 4) became the second major label to sue the German media company for supporting the nLitigation against Bertelsmann over its relationship with Napster continues to build, as EMI Group yesterday (June 4) became the second major label to sue the German media company for supporting the now-dormant peer-to-peer service, Billboard Bulletin reports.
The copyright-infringement suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. EMI alleges that Bertelsmann "materially contributed to the massive infringement" of its works by funding Napster and participating in the management and decision-making of the service. EMI seeks $150,000 in damages for each copyright allegedly infringed.
The move follows similar suits brought against Bertelsmann by Universal Music Group and a group of music publishers.
Bertelsmann loaned Napster $50 million in October 2000; the network shut down under court order in July 2001. Labels and publishers claim the loan was nothing more than a "scheme" to shield Bertelsmann from liability for the massive infringements.
"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 says in a statement.
Bertelsmann did not return calls for comment.