Website Must Pay $950,000 For Posting Beatles Songs
BlueBeat.com, a website that streams and sales music, agreed to pay record labels nearly a million dollar to settle a federal lawsuit for selling Beatles songs. The site sold the songs for 25 cents apiece before they were legally available.
The settlement with music companies EMI Group PLC, Capitol Records and Virgin Records America was approved by U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton Tucker. The Judge ruled in December that BlueBeat violated copyrights and presented unfair competition to the record labels.
A trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday which would have determined exactly how much BlueBeat owed in damages. The site also streamed and sold music for other top-name acts before it was sued back in November 2009 but by then it had already distributed more than 67,000 Beatles songs. The site released the Beatles songs shortly after the group’s re-mastered albums and a yearly later Apple was selling them on iTunes.
BlueBeat denied wrongdoing and the settlement was just a fraction of what the music companies sought. “We basically settled the case for their attorney fees,” said BlueBeat’s attorney Archie Robinson.. “I felt that was sort of an acknowledgement on their part that they don’t have the damages they claimed”. Still a million dollars is a huge amount for a site like BlueBeat to pay.