February 2003

Radio, Internet

Yahoo have agreed to a settlement with Sony Music Entertainment as part of a lawsuit filed by the US recording industry against the web portal’s online music subsidiary, Launch Media.
The lawsuit, filed in May 2001 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), alleged that Launch violated copyright laws by giving its web radio listeners too much control over their song choices – allowing users to ‘programme’ their own station with tracks of their own selection which means that at the very least users can create ‘virtual albums’. Yahoo will make a onetime payment to Sony for its past use, and the portal will enter into a nonexclusive license to broadcast Sony’s songs on its LaunchCast radio service. The financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed (
This case again shows the recording industry’s determination to force new media to either pay for the use of copyright material itself or make sure users and subscribers pay for copying or ‘downloading’ music.

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