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RIAA Sues Puretunes

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

11 July 2003

It emerged last week that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed a lawsuit against Madrid-based online file sharing service, the fact that the latter's website was taken offline last month and has yet to reappear.

In a statement following the service's launch in May, Puretunes' general counsel, Javier Siguenza announced that: 'Puretunes has pioneered a product that allows consumers to get the music they want digitally, without restriction, while compensating the rights holders for their works.'

The site - which was designed to allow users to download music from its catalogue over designated time frames - was reported to be taking advantage of a loophole in Spanish copyright law. Although it did not have permission to provide songs for download from the copyright holders themselves, it had supposedly struck a deal with two Spanish rights agencies representing the recording artists, and would be compensating the performers out of subscription proceeds.

However, according to the RIAA, no such agreements had ever been reached.

'Contrary to everything that Puretunes told the public - both on its website and in news reports - they never obtained nor sought licences for the music that they were selling to the public,' a spokesman revealed, continuing: 'It's bad enough that Puretunes was selling music illegally - it's even worse that they tried to perpetrate a fraud on the public by claiming that they were a legitimate business.'

According to reports, the recording industry body is seeking damages for copyright infringements which took place prior to the site's apparent disappearance.

Disgruntled subscribers to the service, some of whom had stumped up a full year's advance fees, have reportedly received no response from the firm or its representatives.

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