Britney, Backstreet, 'NSYNC Label Sues MP3.com

Less than one week after a judge handed down a ruling that could cost MP3.com 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 MP3.com over its My.MP3.com 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 MP3.com willfully infringed on Universal's copyrights (see "MP3.com Owes Universal $25K Per CD Violation").

Similarly, Zomba is charging that MP3.com "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.

My.MP3.com

allows users to store music that they have purchased and boasts a database of more than 80,000 albums. MP3.com has battled charges of copyright infringement by noting that the My.MP3.com service only allows users to listen online to CDs that the users themselves have already purchased.

MP3.com 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 MP3.com 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 My.MP3.com database violates copyright law (see "Court Rules MP3.com 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

"MP3.com Settles Copyright Suits With Warner, BMG").