BMG Changes Its Tune On Sharing MP3.com Damages
BMG Entertainment announced yesterday (May 29) that it intends to share the proceeds of its settlement with MP3.com with "all of our infringed-upon artists," Billboard Bulletin reports. Earlier this mBMG Entertainment announced yesterday (May 29) that it intends to share the proceeds of its settlement with MP3.com with "all of our infringed-upon artists," Billboard Bulletin reports. Earlier this month, BMG told Billboard that the settlement monies would be shared with artists "in accordance with their agreements"; at the time, the company would not comment on whether artists whose contracts do not include a provision for infringement money would be excluded.
In a statement, BMG North America president/CEO Bob Jamieson says, "We value our relationships with our artists, and we feel this is the best course to take to foster those relationships. It is our plan to begin crediting our artists' accounts just as soon as all of our [infringed] recordings and artists have been identified."
BMG, EMI, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment settled their copyright-infringement suit against MP3.com last year before trial. Damages were not disclosed but were estimated at $20 million per company. Universal Music Group continued the lawsuit, winning $53.4 million. All of the majors have now announced that they will share the bounty with all infringed artists by crediting their accounts.
In related news, BMG parent Bertelsmann's eCommerce Group announced today that it has purchased Redwood City, Calif.-based music storage locker company Myplay. Aside from online music retailer CDNow, music club BMG Direct, and rights management company Digital World Services, Bertelsmann is also a strategic partner in controversial file-swapping site Napster, which it plans to relaunch July 1 as a pay service. Among Myplay's competitors was MP3.com, which was purchased by Vivendi Universal last week.