A Federal Court judge has found that LiveUniverse, which owns websites that display song lyrics, in contempt of court for failing to comply with its May 24 injunction to remove infringing unlicensed material from its websites.

The injunction came out of an action by Peermusic, Warner/Chappell and Bug Music, which filed a lawsuit against LiveUniverse, Inc. and its owner Brad Greenspan in the Federal Court of the Central District of California in August 2009 for willful copyright infringement on a vast scale.

The contempt order from District Court Judge George H. Wu requires LiveUniverse to disable its lyricsdownload.com, completealbumlyrics.com, yricsandsongs.com, and http://www.allthelyrics.com, until all infringing material is removed and verified by the court, according to the court documents. If the takedown is not complete within 48 hours, LiveUniverse and Greenspan may be subject to further contempt sanctions, including monetary sanctions of $100,000 for each website not disabled.

"The Court's action is consistent with copyright law and precedent, and should serve as a reminder to web operators who attempt to profit from copyrighted works without a license," National Music Publishers' Assn. president and CEO David Isrealite said in a statement. "Such activity will not be tolerated. Licenses are available from multiple sources and the legal marketplace is thriving. There is simply no excuse to fail to license music content."

The Federal Court that filed a preliminary injunction ordering LiveUniverse to remove infringing copyrighted material from its websites in May this week

Last August, Peermusic, Warner/Chappell and Bug Music filed copyright infringement lawsuits against LiveUniverse, Inc. and its owner Brad Greenspan.

For the past three years, the NMPA has sent cease and desist notices to hundreds of illegal sites, providing multiple warnings and opportunities for the site operators to license the content and operate legally. These efforts have resulted in a reduction of illegal sites, as many of those contacted have either ceased operation or taken licenses.

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