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Apple, Napster and record labels hit with class action lawsuit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 24 May 2007 12:57 User comments (9)

Apple, Napster and record labels hit with class action lawsuit A small independent record label owned by bluegrass musician David Grisman has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, Napster, and other digital media stores as well as the Big 4 record labels that carry the label's catalogue of tracks.
The small label, Dawg Music, is accusing the labels and stores of carrying the label's music and seling his works "with poor or nonexistent compensation and without his consent."

The lawsuit also claims that Universal and Warner have neglected the label's copyrights and royalties when signing deals with online stores, including iTunes and Napster.

Those two giant record companies agreed to online distribution of Dawg Music's library, but did not acquire permission first from the label. Dawg claims that because of the lack of communication, the label received "gross underpayments," and that online music stores are "guilty by association because they agreed to host and sell the unsanctioned tracks."

The suit accuses the following companies of trading songs without genuine consent:
AOL Music Now,, Apple's iTunes,, Napster, RealNetworks' Rhapsody,,
and Yahoo Music.

Dawg hopes to receive $150,000 USD for each copyrighted work they feel was downloaded without genuine consent.


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9 user comments

124.5.2007 13:00

While I agree that with their reason for suing I think the amount they are seeking is a gross over representation of what they actually lost.

224.5.2007 13:55

seems just like the riaa/mpaa tactics to me, about time the artists started to fight back for the way the media companies treat all media "theirs"!

Originally posted by slashdot:

"With the furor over the impending rate hike for Internet radio stations, wouldn't a good solution be for streaming internet stations to simply not play RIAA-affiliated labels' music and focus on independent artists? Sounds good, except that the RIAA's affiliate organization SoundExchange claims it has the right to collect royalties for any artist, no matter if they have signed with an RIAA label or not. 'SoundExchange (the RIAA) considers any digital performance of a song as falling under their compulsory license. If any artist records a song, SoundExchange has the right to collect royalties for its performance on Internet radio. Artists can offer to download their music for free, but they cannot offer their songs to Internet radio for free ... So how it works is that SoundExchange collects money through compulsory royalties from Webcasters and holds onto the money. If a label or artist wants their share of the money, they must become a member of SoundExchange and pay a fee to collect their royalties.'"

324.5.2007 15:32

When something illegal occurs, it isn't about just compensation -- its about punishment as well. If there wasn't an adequate punishment then illegal things would happen all the time. If say the only consequence to stealing a computer would be paying for the computer, and getting to keep the computer, than crime would be unstoppable. Just because its digital doesn't mean its exempt from that rule.

424.5.2007 17:19

everyone is sueing everyone... its a good year for lawyers

524.5.2007 17:40

Originally posted by lxfactor:
everyone is sueing everyone... its a good year for lawyers
Isn't that the truth. The true winners are the lawyers the more suits addressed the happier they will get.

61.6.2007 8:35

How do you call a lawyer?

Sueeeee, sueeeee

716.6.2007 21:45

Time to quite med school and switch to law school...

This guy should have done what everybody else did. Wait ten years and then demand massive amounts of back payment.

84.6.2008 1:55

Well, it's about time.

After all the thievery, chicanery, and fraud the big boys have pulled on the little guys, indie labels, and musicians, it's finally time some little guy pulled their own game on them. BRAVO!

The late legendary Bo Diddley sold millions of records and received NOTHING for many of them. He was still working at age 79 because he needed the money. This is true of many world famous artists.

The major labels have historically dealt treacherously, immorally, and criminally with the artists who make the music we love.

They shut down on a STUPID technicality. People could upload their CD's to play from, but because they stored just one shared copy, the major labels won billions, and shut down for independent artists. Us little guys were making decent money writing, recording, marketing, and selling our music. The big guys didn't like us tapping into their market, and got their crooked lawyers to find a technicality over which to put them (and us) out of business.

This isn't about losses. It's about punishment. Te lawsuit represented no losses by the majors. The songs in question had been properly bought and paid for. They collected monies they were not rightfully entitled to, on a technicality. You go, Dawg!

94.6.2008 3:16

Why do lawyers hate cold days ?

Because for one of the few times in their lives, they have their hands in their own pockets instead of someone elses!!!

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