COURT AWARDS JUDGEMENT TO UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP IN COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT SUIT WITH MP3.COM
Universal Music Group Grants MP3.com License for My.MP3.com Service
San Diego and New York, November 14, 2000 -- U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff today awarded $53.4 million in statutory damages and attorneys fees to the Universal Music Group (UMG) in its copyright infringement suit against MP3.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: MPPP). Last January, UMG and others filed the lawsuit challenging MP3.com’s copying of thousands of copyrighted CDs onto its file servers to create its My.MP3.com “locker” service. MP3.com does not intend to appeal from the judgment.
Concurrently, it was announced that UMG has granted MP3.com a non-exclusive, North American license for the use of UMG-controlled recordings on the My.MP3.com system, including the “Beam-it™” and Instant Listening™” software services.
“Universal Music pursued this case to send a strong message that copyrights will be protected and that copyright owners and artists need to be properly compensated for use of their work,” said Zach Horowitz, President and Chief Operating Officer, UMG. “Although we believe our proof at trial would have led to a greater damage award, we are satisfied with the award. It was never our intent to put MP3.com out of business with a judgment so large that it would threaten their viability as a company. We support the development of legitimate music businesses on the Internet.”
Michael Robertson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MP3.com stated: "We are glad that this case is now behind us and that we will be able to include UMG’s music as part of our My.MP3.com service. We look forward to returning our entire focus to capitalizing on the tremendous opportunity in the digital delivery of music and letting consumers listen to CDs which they own in the digital age. As we move ahead, this provides clear evidence that the needs of rights holders and music fans can be accommodated in the digital music space. The marketplace that has served artists and consumers for so long will continue to thrive in the era of the Internet.”
MP3.com, Inc. has created what it believes is a unique and robust technology infrastructure for the storage, management, promotion and delivery of digital music. As the Internet's premier Music Service Provider (MSP), the company is dedicated to providing consumers with anytime, anywhere access to their music using any web-enabled device. The company's web site hosts what MP3.com believes is the largest collection of digital music available on the Internet, with more than 698,000 songs and audio files posted from over 109,000 digital artists and record labels. Dedicated to growing the digital music space, the company's products and services include on-demand Subscription Music Channels, an innovative Retail Music Program, a Syndicated Radio Division and others. Additionally, through the company's MSP initiative, MP3.com is partnering with a variety of forward-looking technology companies to expand its digital music strategy. MP3.com's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol MPPP. The company is based in San Diego, California. For more information on MP3.com, visit www.mp3.com.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world's leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry's largest global music publishing operations.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels A&M Records, Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Jimmy and Doug’s Farmclub.com, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group is a unit of The Seagram Company Ltd., a global entertainment and spirits and wine company.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such statements include references to activities expected to occur in connection with MP3.com’s license arrangement with Universal Music Group. These statements involve a high degree of risk and uncertainty, are only predictions, and actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to differences include risks related to: implementation of MP3.com’s license arrangement with Universal Music Group; MP3.com's current litigation proceedings, including without limitation the inability to reach settlement with all parties to such litigation proceedings; MP3.com's new and uncertain business model; acceptance of MP3.com's products and services; MP3.com's limited operating history, and MP3.com's rapid growth, as well as other risks detailed from time-to-time in MP3.com's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999 and its most recent reports on Form 10-Q.