Britney, Backstreet, 'NSYNC Label Sues

Less than one week after a judge handed down a ruling that could cost as much as $250 million, Zomba Recording Corporation and Zomba Music Publishing have filed lawsuits against the embattled music Web site.

Both companies are independently suing over its service, the same database that stirred the ire of the Universal Music Group. Last week, Universal won damages from the site when a judge ruled willfully infringed on Universal's copyrights (see " Owes Universal $25K Per CD Violation").

Similarly, Zomba is charging that "has adopted a blatant strategy of attempting to unlawfully build a business by misappropriating us and our artists' and writers' goodwill, recordings, and songs."

Zomba Recording Corp. owns Jive Records, which boasts an impressive stable of pop hitmakers including 'NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and R. Kelly.

allows users to store music that they have purchased and boasts a database of more than 80,000 albums. has battled charges of copyright infringement by noting that the service only allows users to listen online to CDs that the users themselves have already purchased. Chairman and CEO Michael Robertson promised to appeal last week's judge's ruling, saying, "We believe that everyone should have the right to listen to the music they purchase, even if it's on the Internet."

While vows to fight on, past legal tangles do not bode well for the Web site regarding the impending Zomba lawsuits. In April, a judge ruled that the database violates copyright law (see "Court Rules Violates Copyrights"), and this summer the site settled lawsuits brought by several record labels including BMG Entertainment, Time Warner's Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and the EMI Group (see

" Settles Copyright Suits With Warner, BMG").