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MP3.Com to resume my.MP3.com service

Beleaguered music swap service undeterred

Only two days after a judge found the company guilty of "willfully infringing" the Universal Music Group's copyrights, Internet music company MP3.com has announced that it will re-launch its My.MP3.com service starting in a few weeks.

My.MP3.com lets users register, or "beam" as MP3.com calls it, their CDs with the company's more than 80,000 CD database, which then allows users to listen to the songs they own from any computer with an Internet connection.

Universal successfully argued that MP3.com violated Universal copyrights by including an estimated 4,700 CDs in the company's song database without permission. My.MP3.com has been deactivated since April.

The decision to resume the My.MP3.com service was made because the company already had agreements in place with four other major record labels allowing the service to offer CDs from those company's catalogues and because "consumers were clamouring for it," according to an MP3.com spokesman.

Universal's music makes up only about 20 percent of the music database, the spokesman said.

The renewed My.MP3.com service will include all of MP3.com's CD database, with the exception of any Universal CDs.

It is unclear how MP3.com's reactivation of My.MP3.com will affect its appeal of the verdict.

Universal had asked for US$450 (£310 million in damages). Judge Jed Rakoff declined to award that amount, the maximum allowed under the law, and instead ruled 6 September that MP3.com must pay Universal $118 million (£81 million) or $25,000 (£17,240) per CD.

The amount may be adjusted after it is determined exactly how many of Universal's CDs MP3.com included in its service.

The other four "major labels," Warner Brothers Music Group, EMI, BMG Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment settled their suits against MP3.com for an estimated $20 million (£13.79 million) each.

The settlements allow MP3.com to include CDs from those label's back catalogues in the My.MP3.com service. http://www.mp3.com/.

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