Media Rights Technologies, a California-based company whose BlueBeat site was shut down by a federal court in December for selling deep-discounted MP3s by EMI artists such as the Beatles, Radiohead and Coldplay without permission, has agreed to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit for $950,000. The site had been selling Beatles songs for 25 cents each before the band had signed a deal with iTunes to officially license their music for digital sales.
Media Rights had attempted to defend itself by claiming that the MP3s sold by BlueBeat were not the original recordings, but instead "psycho-acoustic simulations" with re-recorded parts and artistic touches not included on the official releases. This attempt to circumvent copyright with a variation on the "fair use" clause did not convince the court.
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