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Europeans Sue Major Record Labels
'We'll Fight,' Say Record Labels
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2004-01-06
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A European consumer group is suing four of the Big Five labels for selling copy-protected CDs that won't play in car stereos or on computers.

The Belgium-based Test-Aankoop says so far, it's had more than 200 complaints.

"Industry observers believe Test-Aankoop's suit is the biggest European legal challenge yet to the music industry's controversial campaign to release copy-protected discs to minimize the impact that digital piracy is having on sales," says a Reuters report here.

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Test-Aankoop cited more than a dozen top-selling releases which wouldn't play on "multiple devices," says the report.

It says although on that EMI, Universal Music, Sony Music and BMG are named in the suit, which is expected to be heard this week in a Belgian court, Warner Music wasn't.

It doesn't explain why it was apparently left out.

"We are trying to establish legal precedent in this matter. Then, we expect other consumer organizations will follow," spokesman Mechels Ivo is quoted as saying.

Test-Aankoop says it contacted record label enforcer the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in the fall about the concerns, adds the story.


The major record labels says they'll fight the lawsuit lodged against them for selling copy-protected CDs.

"European law is clear that record companies and other copyright holders have the right to protect their works through technical means," says the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry).

Quoted in Britain's Financial Times here, came after the news that a Belgian-based consumer group Test-Aankoop is suing four of the Big Five labels for selling copy-protected CDs that won't play in car stereos or on computers.

The IFPI, the record labels' enforcement organ headed by ex-RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) boss Jay Berman, claims the case has no merit, says the FT.

Test-Achats wants the labels to end the practice of issuing protected discs and to reimburse customers, spokesman Mechels Ivo says in the report.

"We are trying to establish legal precedent in this matter. Then, we expect other consumer organisations will follow."


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