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EMI granted injunction over website for alleged illegal sales of Beatles tracks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 05 Nov 2009 19:41

EMI granted injunction over website for alleged illegal sales of Beatles tracks The Big 4 record label EMI sued Bluebeat.com this week, claiming the site is selling unauthorized digital copies of the Beatles albums.
The site sells each track for $0.25 but EMI says they have "not authorized content to be sold on Bluebeat.com."

Bluebeat garnered the attention of the label and curious downloaders because the Beatles tracks have never been officially been digitized, and certainly would not sell for 25 cents when all other tracks on iTunes sell for $1.

Perhaps just as notably, Bluebeat allows for free streaming of some tracks, including those by the Beatles.

Bluebeat, in their defense, say that they actually own the tracks and the copyrights for those tracks. What? MRT, the parent company behind Bluebeat, says they ran the Beatles tracks through psycho-acoustic simulation and added new pictures to the MP3s, thus making them completely new pieces of media. Media of which they own the copyrights for.

For those confused, (everyone), "Psychoacoustic simulations are a synthetic creation of that series of sounds which best expresses the way I believe a particular melody should be heard as a live performance," says MRT CEO Hank Risan.

Today, a federal judge has ruled in favor of EMI and granted the label a temporary restraining order against Bluebeat and MRT. Judge Walter almost immediately agreed that Bluebeat was not selling new tracks, just copyrighted materials run through "psycho-acoustic simulation."

The judge also tore apart their other argument of having all new "audio visual work" by saying (via Ars): "However, as one court obviously pointed out. [Defendant] cannot invalidate the copyright of an independent and preexisting sound recording, simply by incorporating that sound recording into an audiovisual work.'"

He continued, while ruling in favor of EMI: "Furthermore, by offering below-the-market-value downloads of Plaintiffs’ Recordings, as well as free digital streaming transmissions of Plaintiffs’ Recordings, Defendants’ actions can cause irreparable damage to the perceived value of Plaintiffs’ music and to Plaintiffs’ digital distribution strategies and relationships."

First trial date is November 20th.

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