Judge Rules DMCA Protected MP3Tunes From EMI Lawsuit, Roberston Guilty Of Some Infringement
(UPDATED) U.S. District Judge William Pauley for the Southern Distinct of New York has ruled that digital locker Mp3tunes.com was protected by the DMCA's safe harbor provision when users stored illegally obtained songs there. The decision is a partial victory MP3.com and MP3tunes founder Michael Robertson, but plaintiff EMI did prevail on several fronts.
Robertson was found liable for direct infringement for transferring some unlicensed songs. The judge also found that “users of MP3tunes unlawfully copied songs from unauthorized third-party websites” and ruled that the company had not removed after they were identified, as the DMCA requires.
The real winners today were iTunes, Amazon, Google and others digital locker services who should now be able to develop new features with less fear of label and rightsholder interference.
The judge did allow other portions of EMI's lawsuit to go forward stating that Roberston and MP3tunes may still be liable for certain downloads that had been specifically identified as illegal, but had not been removed.
You can read the full court decision here.