MP3tunes goes bankrupt due to record industry

Music is ending for MP3tunes.com, the service created by Michael Robertson in 2005 as a “cyber locker” ahead of its times and inevitably sued by the record industry for copyright infringement. The company filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of California, and its founder isn’t wary of directly accusing the music majors for this unfortunate outcome.

Already well known for MP3.com and his Lindows/Linspire project, Robertson funded MP3tunes to let people share their music with others and access it on-line from any device – in DRM-less digital format and with no need to pay a single cent to the copyright-owning labels.

MP3tunes was obviously taken to court by one of these labels (EMI), a case filed in 2007 and that still has to celebrate a proper trial. Robertson now explains that after four years of fruitless legal cost, “MP3tunes has no choice but to file” for bankruptcy.

It’s how the “Big Four” of the recording industry operate, the entrepreneur states, “the labels engage in multiyear legal battles and put small companies through hell for years” so that they don’t have the opportunity to flourish and develop their business.

MP3tunes is going bankrupt with debts valued between 1 million and 10 million dollars, while Robertson previously managed to get a now–Pyrrhic victory when a court in Manhattan judged that his company was not liable of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for letting its users download audio tracks with no known legal status.

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