Michael Robertson is facing a $15.8 million judgment for infringing song copyrights.
Nearly two years ago, in one of the most complex copyright lawsuits of all time, MP3Tunes founder Michael Robertson was found liable at trial for infringing the works of Capitol Records, EMI and other record labels and music publishers. After some modifications by the judge, Robertson was ordered to fork over some $15.8 million. The dispute has now been brought to a federal appeals court, which will address the liability of a company that allowed its users to upload music from third-party websites to storage lockers. But that's not the only reason to pay continued attention to this case.
In hopes of collecting the $15.8 million, Capitol Records is now investigating the circumstances of Robertson's separation from wife, Leslie Burcham. In fact, Robertson testified at trial that he was divorced, but apparently that's not the case. After Robertson was added as a defendant in the lawsuit, he and Bercham began separation proceedings. In 2012, he and Burcham executed a marital settlement agreement. Now, the plaintiff smells something rotten.
"Indeed, the timing is highly suggestive that Robertson may have separated from Burcham for the precise purpose of shielding assets from his creditors," attorneys for Capitol told a California judge on Monday.