Trade Group Suing MP3 Engine

The trade group for the worldwide recording industry announced Wednesday

(March 24) it has filed "criminal legal proceedings" against the

technology company behind Lycos' "FAST MP3 Search" engine. The

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry took the action

against Norway's FAST Search and Transfer -- the partner company of

Boston-based Lycos -- saying FAST "infringes copyright on a mass scale."

Lycos spokesperson Brian Payea said late Wednesday the company had not

yet seen the filing and could not comment. Representatives from FAST

could not be reached. "Fast MP3 Search" offers a half-million links to

near-CD-quality MP3 music files. Critics charge the vast majority of

those are posted without the permission of copyright holders. Meanwhile,

the Recording Industry Association of America is considering its own

action against Lycos, which pledged to work with the RIAA to eradicate

unauthorized links when the search engine launched last month. "I am

frustrated about the slow pace at which progress is being made, and we

are therefore examining all our options -- including litigation," said

RIAA President and CEO Hilary Rosen in a statement Wednesday.