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Record Companies Go to Bat Against MP3.com

Shares of MP3.com rebounded on Monday as the world’s largest record
companies said they were stepping up efforts to settle their dispute
with the on-line music company after a federal judge’s ruling on Friday
that
MP3.com violated copyright law.

The shares were up 18 percent, or 1-1/4, at 8-1/4, amid heavy trading.
They reached as high as 9-1/4 in intraday trading, after plummeting 40
percent on Friday. On the day the stock made its debut in July, it
traded as high as 105.

The stock fell on Friday after Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District
Court of the Southern District of New York ruled that MP3.com infringed
on copyrights held by the record labels with the creation of a database
of more than 80 000 albums that allows users to store music digitally
and then access it via any computer connected to the Internet.

Rakoff convened a meeting late Friday between lawyers for MP3.com and
the Recording Industry Association of America, the trade group
representing the five major record labels, to work out a schedule to
resolve the dispute.

“We absolutely do not want to see MP3.com shut down,” a source with one
of the labels said. “Settlement talks were going on before the case went
into the court and they are continuing. We would be happy to see this
thing settled.”

The database is part of a service at my.mp3.com, which features software
that lets computer users with an original copy of one of the recordings
in the database to register that CD. It then allows the user to listen
to that album over the Internet from any computer without having to
insert the original disc.

MP3.com’s Robertson said talks were focusing on working out a way for
MP3.com to license the music for the database from the labels rather
than removing the copyrighted music all together.

Time Warner Inc.’s music group, Sony Music Entertainment, Seagram Co.’s
Universal Music Group, and BMG, the music unit of Bertelsmann AG, filed
the suit in January originally seeking to shut down the service and
collect damages.

www.mp3.com

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