Internet

MP3.com revives database service with music giveaway

The company is bolstering its My.MP3.com feature with free licensed recordings in the wake of a court ruling that found the service violated copyright laws.

MP3.com is bolstering its embattled My.MP3.com feature with free licensed recordings in the wake of a court ruling that found the service infringes on thousands of copyrighted songs.

The San-Diego based music company today said customers who use its My.MP3.com service can get free digital music through its Instant Music Program, which is giving away 10 "Net CDs" by artists featured on MP3.com.

The company's CEO, Michael Robertson, said in a statement that the Instant Music Program allows artists to increase their audiences and also is a "great way for consumers to build a digital library of music across a wide range of genres."

The company is best known for providing a venue through which unknown artists can offer free and paid downloads of music to attract visitors to its Web site. Earlier this year, the company expanded its offerings, creating the My.MP3.com database of songs distributed by major labels and making them available to customers who could show they had purchased a CD with those same recordings.

That service is the target of a lawsuit by the Recording Industry Association of America, which is seeking damages that could exceed $6 billion. The trial is set for August.

The company has already suffered a serious legal blow over the service. In see news analysis: MP3.com's practices stir
debate April, a federal judge ruled that MP3.com violated industry copyrights by creating a database of close to 80,000 CDs.

MP3.com also was sued last week by a New York-based independent label, Tee Vee Toons, in Manhattan federal court. The label alleged that the music company distributed unauthorized copies of Tee Vee Toons' recordings to MP3.com customers.

Artists participating in the Instant Music Program giveaway include Ex Number Five, John Bell Young, L.A. Carpool and Tears for Beers.