Frank Zappa's widow has filed a copyright infringement suit against music download retailer EMusic. Gail Zappa is seeking more than $5 million in damages for alleged copyright violation of 37 of her h
Frank Zappa's widow has filed a copyright infringement suit against music download retailer EMusic. Gail Zappa is seeking more than $5 million in damages for alleged copyright violation of 37 of her husband's songs, including "Tears Begin To Fall," "Sofa No.1," "Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?" and "Catholic Girls."
The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, contends that the Web company, based in Redwood City, Calif., made the Zappa songs available for download on or about Jan. 1, 1999. Gail, who is the trustee of the Zappa Family Trust, owns the rights to her husband's material, which is licensed for distribution by Rykodisc.
The suit claims that Rykodisc alerted EMusic prior to Jan. 1, 1999, that the site needed to obtain its license from the Zappa Family Trust. Emusic "engaged in the business of knowingly and systematically authorizing, aiding and abetting, and/or materially contributing to the reproduction and distribution of unauthorized copies of recordings embodying performances of the Zappa compositions," the suit claims.
The suit seeks a permanent injunction to prevent EMusic from making the Zappa songs available, damages of $150,000 per infringement, and attorney fees.
A search at deadline found no Zappa recordings currently available on EMusic. Representatives from the site were not available for comment.
Last week, Emusic filed a copyright infringement and unfair competition suit against Napster, alleging that about half of Emusic's 140,000 songs were available for download of the free music swapping service.