US Court allows EMI to chase firm’s boss

November 2009


A US judge has given EMI the green light to directly sue digital music veteran Michael Robertson over his service. EMI has been pursuing litigation against since November 2007, arguing that the online storage system, which lets users store their MP3 collections on an external server which they can then access on any computer, infringes the music company’s copyrights. EMI’s original lawsuit named and its founder Michael Robertson as defendants, but last year a judge ruled that the entrepreneur himself could not be targeted through the litigation. However, that ruling has now been changed, significantly after seeing a deposition given by Emily Richards, the former President of which said that Robertson had a very hands-on involvement in the day to day development and running of, and often made decisions without consulting her. This, EMI successfully argued, backed up their viewpoint that Robertson should accept some personal liability for any infringement his new service may or may not be guilty of. Because Richards’ deposition differed, the judge concluded, from one she had previously given while still working for Robertson, and because the original decision regarding Robertson’s liability had in part been based on that original deposition, he was happy to reverse the 2008 court ruling and restate Robertson as a defendant. If you follow. The case is due to go to court in March.

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