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Online Music Storage Firm MP3tunes Files For Bankruptcy

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-his-first-rodeo dept.

Businesses 41

fishmike writes "Online music storage firm MP3tunes, Inc filed for bankruptcy in a U.S. court, following its prolonged run-in with music publishing giant EMI Group over copyright issues, court filings showed. MP3tunes is a so-called cloud music service that lets users store music in online 'lockers.' Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc and Google Inc have similar cloud services."

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41 comments

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Never heard of it (1, Troll)

readandburn (825014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977033)

Nothing to see here.

Re:Never heard of it (3, Interesting)

moozey (2437812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977089)

How very interesting, please do go on.

Re:Never heard of it (2, Interesting)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977109)

His totally valid point likely references the 2 sentence uninformative summary. His point is far more insightful than yours frankly. Somebody has to call out extremely lazy "news" posts which give next to no info, and would be a joke as a random blog post by a tween.

Re:Never heard of it (1)

doccus (2020662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39987423)

Hey..I can write like that too !. "My computer got repossessed today. My friends, bob and tom have computers too"

Re:Never heard of it (1)

moozey (2437812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39990959)

It's not a valid point in the slightest. He's suggesting that just because he hasn't heard of the service then no one should bother reading about it regardless of whether they're interested or not. I don't give a shit if he doesn't know about it as it literally adds nothing to the conversation.

Re:Never heard of it (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977271)

Same here. [shrugs]

Re:[shrugs] (3, Informative)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977315)

Y'all forgot the episode from the last season of the Slashdot Show. If you had caught up with that one, it was all about how this case was supposed to test key legal waters about this area of music copyright law which is the other 80% of the story that Submitter missed. The point was all about what qualifies as your property when it is space-shifted to the cloud vs the liability of the services.

Commentators that time remarked about how "companies as big as Google and Amazon and Apple aren't exactly stupid, so if they all open variants of these music locker services, their chief of legal must have decided that it's better than even chances to call a showdown vs the RIAA. Some other day we can all have lunch and argue about what precise finesses pass muster but that's why you guys should have heard of them.

Re:[shrugs] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39977399)

There's a Slashdot show?

Re:[shrugs] (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977861)

There's a Slashdot show?

Yup ... right between the posts by the anti <inert name of large tech company here> shills and the Gamemaker posts.

Re:[shrugs] (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977425)

I don't watch /. Show so I can't forget the episode. :P

Re:Never heard of it (4, Informative)

Mannfred (2543170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977349)

The only bit which rang a bell FTFA:

Based in San Diego, California, MP3tunes was launched in 2005 by Robertson three years after stepping down as CEO of MP3.com, which was also founded by him.

Re:Never heard of it (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 2 years ago | (#39980143)

Dang. Mp3.com was one of the greatest things ever. And as far as I know a LOT of legitimate artists used it back then in the same manner than myspace became at its peak.

WTF (-1, Troll)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977097)

Most worthless uninformative summary ever. Thank god Slashdot has hired editors like Timothy. Nice job dude.

Re:WTF (-1, Offtopic)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977283)

Then why don't you write an email to Reuters then?

Because it's the first sentence of the story

Re:WTF (-1, Offtopic)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977881)

Then why don't you write an email to Reuters then? Because it's the first sentence of the story

Just because the submitter copied & pasted the first sentence of the story doesn't let the editor (and I use that term generously) off the hook. If the editors are volunteers then you get what you pay for. If they are compensated then they should put in more effort than the posters or submitters. They should read the article, they should proof the summary, they should provide additional links when necessary, etc.

Not a lot of assets (3, Informative)

HairyNevus (992803) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977127)

FTA:

MP3tunes had filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 code, which envisages liquidation of a company's operation. In the court filing, the company had listed out assets of about $7,800 and liabilities of $2.1 million.

Good luck with that...

Re:Not a lot of assets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39977201)

I think that's the textbook definition of "boned"

Now I understand (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977267)

EMI probably knew that this was the probable outcome --- which explains why they repeatedly tried to add Michael Robertson as a personal defendent. Looks to me that Big Media has had it in for him ever since he proved, with the original mp3.com website, that good music could be generated and distributed without them.

I hope he and his family manage to come out financially unscathed. The original mp3.com site rocked.

Re:Now I understand (5, Interesting)

janap (451953) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977441)

Aww - those were the days! Mp3.com actually PAID indie artists to have their stuff on the site. Sent me cheques all the way to Sweden. The fees for cashing them in were greater than their value though... But at least we were PAID. Mr Robertson is for real and I wish him good luck in his future endeavors.

(I eventually brought our expired cheques with me on a trip to California, and the staff at mp3.com HQ happily exchanged them for a fresh one that I was able to cash in.)

Re:Now I understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39977707)

That's what the industry should be like. Instead we have members of the RIAA ending jobs instead of helping to make them.

Re:Now I understand (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988053)

Kind of curious, would you be willing to post a link to some of your music?

Re:Now I understand (1)

janap (451953) | more than 2 years ago | (#40011015)

Kind of curious, would you be willing to post a link to some of your music?

Sorry about the late reply - not used to getting any feedback or even mod points in here... :/
The band's name was Tumbleweed Trail and it existed during the latter part of the nineties. I put up a couple of our tunes for posterity in a playlist on Soundcloud, you're very welcome to have a listen!

http://soundcloud.com/strummindude/sets/tumbleweed-trails/ [soundcloud.com]

Re:Now I understand (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082237)

Thanks for the link, I promise to "taste" your music! Might take a bit, my laptop's audio is currently broken (Oneiric) and my family doesn't leave me that much free time on the other public family computer.

Liked "Still Got Thunder" --- catchy lyric that, "still got thunder rumblin' in my soul". (It's just not fair, the asymmetry between how easy it is for Swedes to speak English versus the other way around --- I can't even count to 10 in Swedish!).

Re:Now I understand (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977889)

The original mp3.com site rocked.

Indeed it did. In fact, the last time I purchased new CDs was from some bands on mp3.com. Since then its been all used discs or piracy.

However, not all was so great with mp3.com. I ran one of those tools that analyze WAV files for signs of WAV->MP3->WAV conversions and it turns out that all of the CDs I bought from mp3.com were "upconverts" from 128Kbps mp3. And that was long before LAME got awesome - it may even have not existed back then, so I'm now stuck with crummy 128Kbps encodes. But that's better than not having any of that music at all.

Re:Now I understand (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 2 years ago | (#39978105)

EMI probably knew that this was the probable outcome

Did they also know the outcome that a significant percentage of the sites customers will flock to tpb and other pirate sites? Yeah they probably did. More people to sue.

Re:Now I understand (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39978821)

EMI probably knew that this was the probable outcome --- which explains why they repeatedly tried to add Michael Robertson as a personal defendent. Looks to me that Big Media has had it in for him ever since he proved, with the original mp3.com website, that good music could be generated and distributed without them.

Adding Michael to the suit as a personal defendent would open up way too many doors as the whole point of a corporation is to limit personal liability in case of suit. EMI doesn't want to be individually and collectively liable for its actions, just collectively. Problem is, they wanted to make an example out of Michael for having the audacity to actually pay indy musicians royalties on their songs. Can't have that, thus, this suit. Somebody stuffing an EMI controlled recording on his site was just the excuse.

Re:Now I understand (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#39980181)

My understanding is that they didn't claim that he would be liable for the corporation's losses --- instead, they accused him personally of copyright infringement based on music in his personal mp3tunes locker. On the other hand, I had the impression that the defence ripped apart the claims of EMI that anyone who downloaded any EMI music whatsoever from the net had to know it was unlicensed --- they exhibited a fairly long list of songs that EMI had put up on the net, itself, for free downloading.

Unfortunately, my impression is that copyright law is so messed up that even if it is impossible for someone to have known that he infringed, it is not a valid defence.

Re:Now I understand (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39981653)

Between me, thee, & the doorpost, I don't think anybody understands copyright law, not the way they're written. Way too many gators in them there swamps. I'm wondering why the *AAs didn't just come out and say 'All your IP and disposable income are belong to us. Send it in, our execs need more hookers & blow' and be done with it already.

Re:Now I understand (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39980963)

Not just big media, but it also looks like some his former employees have it [freespire.com] for him as well.

Re:Now I understand (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988017)

Thanks for the interesting link, I had suspected that anyone who would be capable of attempting all of the things he's attempted would probably have to have a commensurate ego. Similar to Steve Jobs in some ways, if the general opinion out on the net is correct.

The linked site does reek of "disgruntled employee / friend / SO", as opposed to "we want to give you a balanced picture of what Michael Robertson is like"; so frankly, I doubt I'll ever know exactly what's going on. Actually, even if I would meet Mr. Robertson for a day or even two, I doubt I'd be able to get around his projected persona enough to make a good judgement. I know I'm just not very good at that.

Interesting. It has just hit me that when I look at that site and see the long list of negative reviews of Mr. Robertson, I have a bias to judge him by thinking "what would I be like if so many people thought that about me" --- which is unfair to him. Frankly, I doubt you'd be able to find enough people to generate that long a list of positive reviews for me (or at least "as enthusiasticly positive as those are enthusiastically negative"). I'm not a particularly dynamic or ambitious person. When I try to compensate for this bias, I can start to imagine (but not necessarily believe) that Mr. Robertson is so dynamic that one could also compile a list of positive reviewers which was ten times the length of that negative list.

Re:Not a lot of assets (3, Insightful)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39978415)

FTA: MP3tunes had filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 code, which envisages liquidation of a company's operation. In the court filing, the company had listed out assets of about $7,800 and liabilities of $2.1 million. Good luck with that...

They should just sell some of the trillions of dollars worth of song files they're holding on to. According to statutory damages, each song is worth about $150K; they could erase their entire debt by selling just 14 tracks.

"Facebook"emoticon code (-1, Offtopic)

maishea013 (2637599) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977329)

Not so bad, he's the only secured creditor (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39977447)

Re:Not so bad, he's the only secured creditor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39977689)

Yep, the BK lawyer got $25K, Robertson's trust gets the hard assets (the security collateral), and the employees got stiffed $12K. The coffee vendor is out $90, which seems odd, because the company does have a sufficient cash (~$1K) available to pay them.

So, what is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39977515)

Are the media industries selling us physical copies to do whatever we damned well please, or are they selling us licences?

Is this lawsuit even legal?

Copyright stops another innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39977669)

You can't just let innovative companies affect the way people listen to music. This will not stand! Good thing copyright law can be used to ensure the music industry stays firmly in the last century.

I can only imagine if this happened 100 years ago (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 2 years ago | (#39978101)

Buggy whip makers lawyering up and sueing the fuck out of that new fangled car industry. (Wonder how many years behind we would be now if that happened. I'm glad they never had that kind of power.)

jobs on line (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39978471)

just as Lawrence explained I cannot believe that some people can earn $5887 in one month on the computer. have you seen this webpage http://nutshellurl.com/54oz

MP3 Tunes Wasn't Even the First Locker Service (2)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39979187)

Myplay.com back in 1999 was offering a digital music locker online.
http://web.archive.org/web/20000510123618/http://www.myplay.com/ [archive.org]

my.mp3.com borrowed large parts of the myplay design but instead of uploading they used their CD verification system which was judged to be illegal, then.... later mr Robertson copied myplay's entire feature set for mp3tunes.

haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39986769)

fuck them!!!!!

iPhone and apple desktop apps were garbage (1)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39992139)

I tried this service. I wanted it to work, but their uploading software crashed all the time, and their iPhone app was useless.

On a related note, I wish the Amazon cloud drive had an iPhone app.

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