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EMI loses cloud 'piracy' case against music lockers

Landmark ruling clears decks for cloud storage
Tue Aug 23 2011, 15:05

MUSIC PUBLISHING FIRM EMI has lost a legal case against cloud-based music locker service MP3tunes that could clear up future debate over whether such storage is fair and legal.

According to Torrentfreak the long legal battle ended yesterday when a judge ruled that the web site did not actively promote copyright infringement.

Judge William Pauley said that MP3tunes "did not promote infringement" by existing and by letting its users store their music online and had actually terminated accounts belonging to users that it found to be breaking copyright laws. Because the web site has complied with DMCA takedown requests in the past it is also able to claim 'safe harbor' under DMCA provisions, meaning that it can be left untouched.

"We've always operated our music service in a responsible manner and because of that the Judge determined that MP3tunes has protection under the DMCA as a service provider for both MP3tunes and (its search search engine)," MP3tunes founder Michael Robertson told Torrentfreak.

"Few companies have been able to stand up to the record labels' attacks and get rulings from the court on key issues relevant to the future of the internet music and this 29 page ruling will set new precedent if it remains standing."

All was not lost for EMI though, and it did manage to eek a small victory out of the court case, if not the blood it was perhaps looking for. Torrentfreak said that Judge Pauley ruled that some infringing files belonging to EMI cashcows should have links removed from Sideload and be purged from user accounts.

"We are pleased that MP3tunes and Michael Robertson have been held liable for infringing hundreds of sound recordings and musical compositions through their Sideload and MP3tunes website," EMI told Torrentfreak.

"At the same time, we're disappointed that the Court found that MP3tunes was entitled to a safe harbor for some of its conduct under the DMCA." µ


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