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EMI trys to stop EFF contributing to its MP3tunes case

By | Published on Tuesday 30 November 2010

EMI has asked the federal judge overseeing its ongoing copyright infringement lawsuit against digital locker service MP3tunes to not let the Electronic Frontier Foundation submit a so called ‘friend of the court’ brief to the proceedings. This is where a third party not specifically linked to a lawsuit provides information which it believes will help the judge in considering the case. 

The brief the EFF wants to submit to court is believed to discuss the wider implications of ruling in EMI’s favour in this case, in which the major claims MP3tunes is liable for copyright infringement by letting its customers host their MP3 collections on a central server and access them from any net connected device, especially given the possibility the MP3s uploaded to the service by users were obtained illegally. The EFF will argue that if EMI wins this case it will harm the emerging ‘cloud storage’ market, including the music service being developed by Google, which includes a locker element. 

According to Digital Media Wire, EMI say the EFF’s brief does not fulfil the definition of an acceptable ‘friend of court’ document, that it pursues a political agenda, “contains unsupported speculation” and exceeds the court’s page length restriction. 

But Sherwin Siy of lobbying group Public Knowledge, who contributed to the EFF brief, says it is important the court sees it. He told Wired: “Especially when it comes to cutting-edge tech and internet issues, it’s easy for courts and attorneys for the parties to focus on the specific facts of the case at hand, when the decisions made in that trial can affect the way people use all sorts of technology all across the country. We’re disappointed that the plaintiffs think that the court is better off without the larger technological and policy perspective laid out in our brief”. 

As previously reported, MP3tunes owner Michael Robertson has claimed that EMI has no legal case for its action against him and his company and has called on the judge to dismiss the lawsuit.