The new broom sweeping clean at EMI also wants to clear up the small matter of online music storage. Labels owned by the group on Friday filed a copyright infringement claim against MP3tunes and its CEO, MP3.com founder Michael Robertson. The website provides a “locker” from which users can upload tracks from their computer to play on the web, while sister site Sideload points to freely available commercial tracks around the web that can be transferred to the locker. The plaintiffs reckon that integration lets users grab and share copyrighted tunes.
There’s recent and not-so-recent history. MP3Tunes sued EMI in September after receiving an earlier takedown notice, so Robertson told Reuters the latest step was just “retaliatory”. MP3.com, the pioneering music host from back in the day, was itself sued by labels in 2000 before it was bought by Universal and then CNET Networks (NSDQ: CNET). The complaint says Robertson “ultimately started this one as a vehicle to achieve a comparable infringing purpose”.