MP3.com reopens service for free, and for fee

The controversial music-streaming service, My.MP3.com, reappears in two forms--one paid, the other free--as the company attempts to emerge from its legal entanglements.

MP3.com on Tuesday relaunched its controversial music-streaming service, My.MP3.com, in two forms--one paid, the other free--as the company attempts to emerge from its legal entanglements.

Consumers can choose from two pricing models to use the service: a subscription account available for a $49.95 annual fee that permits storage of up to 500 CDs, or a free, advertising-based account that allows people to store up to 25 CDs, the company said in a statement.

The service, which lets people store music online and listen to it via any computer, had been shut down in May after a federal court held that a database of nearly 80,000 songs copied and stored by MP3.com--a central part of the service--violated copyright law. MP3.com was later ordered to pay damages.

The San Diego-based company has made progress in its legal battles with the major music labels and last month reached an agreement with Seagram's Universal Music Group. MP3.com won a licensing deal by agreeing to pay Universal $53.4 million under a consent judgment in the copyright infringement dispute.

Also last month, MP3.com reached a licensing deal with rock star David Bowie.

Some lawsuits continue with both record labels and artists.

The company points out that only songs and CDs that are contained in its licensing content catalog will be available for use by registered My.MP3.com account members.

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