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MP3, EMI reach truce
July 28, 2000: 8:26 a.m. ET

Agreement leaves only two of five major labels at odds with music Web site
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Online music company MP3 Inc. reached a settlement of a copyright dispute with record label EMI Group PLC that will allow its users to play EMI music on its site.

"EMI's Internet strategy is to create innovative, convenient and attractive ways for fans to access their favorite artists' music," said Jay Samit, senior vice president, new media, EMI. "This settlement ensures that copyright owners and creators are compensated fairly."

graphicThe settlement leaves just two of the five music giants that sued for copyright infringement, Sony and Universal, yet to settle. But a source told Thursday that Universal had begun settlement negotiations with the digital music provider.

Those two labels, EMI, Warner Music Group and Bertelsmann AG's BMG sued MP3 alleging that the company illegally copied songs without permission from the companies via its Internet service. The service works by allowing visitors to listen on a computer anywhere to music from popular recording artists, after proving to that they owned the CD.

Details of Friday's settlement with EMI were not disclosed, nor were the early settlements with BMG and Warner Music Group, a subsidiary of CNNfn parent Time Warner Inc. (TWX: Research, Estimates). But the EMI statement said this agreement assures fair compensation for artists and their labels.

"A business model where artists, copyright holders and record companies can potentially monetize their music digitally and in an accretive manner is finally emerging," said Michael Robertson, chairman and chief executive of MP3.

Shares of MP3 (MPPP: Research, Estimates) edged down 1/16 to 10-5/16 Thursday. Back to top

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