Zomba Settles With MP3.com
Zomba Music Group, home to such acts as 'N Sync and Britney Spears, has settled its copyright-infringement suit against MP3.com. As part of the agreement, Zomba has licensed its catalog to be used inZomba Music Group, home to such acts as 'N Sync and Britney Spears, has settled its copyright-infringement suit against MP3.com. As part of the agreement, Zomba has licensed its catalog to be used in online company's my.mp3.com database service.
Zomba filed its copyright-infringement lawsuit against MP3.com in September 2000 and was seeking the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringed work. A federal judge ruled in June that MP3.com was liable for infringing on Zomba's copyrights. The settlement comes before the damages phase of the trial, which was scheduled for early September.
"I am pleased to say that the parties have settled the litigation between them and resolved their differences to their mutual satisfaction and have entered into a licensing arrangement for the my.mp3.com service," a Zomba spokesperson said. An MP3.com spokesperson also confirmed the settlement deal.
While the terms of the Zomba deal were not disclosed, Sony Music, EMI, BMG Entertainment, and Warner Music Group settled their respective copyright-infringement suits with MP3.com for $15 million-$20 million. Universal Music Group took the case all the way to the damages portion of the trial and won $52 million in statutory damages thanks to a court-ordered settlement.
Meanwhile, MP3.com announced today (Aug. 30) that the online company's president, Robin Richards, has been named chairman and CEO. He replaces Michael Robertson, who founded MP3.com in 1998. Robertson will stay on with new owner Vivendi Universal as an advisor to chairman and CEO Jean-Marie Messier.
Vivendi Universal announced that it would acquire MP3.com in May in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $372 million. The acquisition was completed yesterday. Vivendi Universal and Sony Music are planning to launch their online music subscription service pressplay in September.