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January 22, 2007

InfoSpace: EMI lawsuit

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 12:05 PM

EMI, known for producing such artists as Beyonce, Fergie and Nelly Furtado, filed a lawsuit against Bellevue-based InfoSpace in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Jan. 11.

According to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing, EMI charges that InfoSpace breached two ringtone license agreements by underpaying royalties, fraudulently reporting the amount of royalties owed, and infringin EMI's copyrights by making unlicensed use of EMI's work.

EMI claims damages in excess of $10 million for the alleged breaches of contract, unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for the alleged fraud, and more than $100 million for alleged copyright infringement.

InfoSpace said the lawsuit is still in its initial stages, and it has just started to investigate the charges. But based on its knowledge to date, it says it believes that EMI's claims are without merit and intends to vigorously defend the suit.

Prior to the lawsuit, InfoSpace said in September that it lost its biggest ringtone customer -- Cingular Wireless. Instead of using InfoSpace, Cingular decided to create direct relationships with the music records.

There are more details on the suit in this story from The Hollywood Reporter.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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