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UMG v. MP3.com

UMG v. MP3.com

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UMG v. MP3.com

Copyright infringement cases were a highly noted result of music copyright law in the early 2000s.  One of the copyright infringement cases that marked a pivotal moment in music copyright policy was the UMG v. MP3.com music copyright suit. 

The UMG Recordings, Inc. v. MP3.com music copyright case was filed by UMG Recordings, Inc. in the year 2000 with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  UMG alleged that MP3.com was allowing the public to share digital files of full length CDs, which was believed by UMG to serve as a direct violation of music copyright law. 

This was one of the many copyright infringement cases of the early 2000s which stated that this was yet another invalid use of the music copyright fair use policy.  Copyright infringement cases such as this further substantiated their claims, by pointing to the fact that there was a stream of revenue that was being earned on the basis of these file sharing websites.  UMG argued that even though the revenue was not earned directly from the sale of music copyright material, income was being earned as a result, in the form of advertising placement.

In copyright infringement cases, there is a rather large burden of proof that placed on the plaintiff, especially in the copyright infringement cases that present new concepts and new arguments.  Nevertheless, due to the nature of the allegations by UMG Recordings, Inc. against MP3.com, the defendant would have to devise a good argument to refute the claims listed in the music copyright suit. 

Following the model of other copyright infringement cases being argued around this time, MP3.com pointed to a previous policy in an attempt to justify their actions.  MP3.com's major defense in the music copyright suit was that the act of file sharing on the site was protected under the consumer protection laws. 

The consumer protection laws were devised in order to encourage fair competition by not allowing companies to gain unfair advantages over others in a number of capacities.  MP3.com stated that these laws permitted the right for the company to facilitate the unauthorized use of the copyrighted material. 

The final verdict of UMG Recordings, Inc. v. MP3.com was one of the copyright infringement cases that is highly regarded in terms of the influence that it had. There was sufficient evidence as to why the company felt authorized to use music copyright material, to which they did not have the rights to, which would result in financial gain.  Just as in other copyright infringement cases, there were future court decisions.  The final ruling was issued in favor of the plaintiff. 

The final decision in the UMG Recordings, Inc. v. MP3.com music copyright case was reached on the basis of the defendant not being able to offer the company a large financial payout associated with the win.  As part of the final judgment, MP3.com was ordered to pay UMG Recordings, Inc. a reported $53 million.


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