LOS ANGELES — Online music retailer EMusic.com Inc. is suing its Internet rival Mp3.com, saying the company violated the copyrights of the independent record labels EMusic represents.
EMusic, based in Redwood City, Calif., claims MP3.com, based in San Diego, has included songs from independent record labels on its popular streaming audio service, MyMP3.com, without first securing a license from the labels.
MP3.com recently restored its service after a long legal battle against the five major record labels, all of which reached multimillion-dollar settlements over the same issue.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York City.
In a release Tuesday, EMusic said it has yet to determine how many of the approximately 13,000 albums from 600 independent record labels it represents have been included in the MyMP3.com service. The complaint was filed by EMusic and six partner labels, although the company said it expects more independent labels to join in the suit.
“Although MP3.com has entered into settlement agreements with the five major record labels, they have chosen to ignore their infringing actions with respect to independent record labels,” Gene Hoffman, EMusic president and chief executive officer said in a statement.
MP3 was reviewing the action and had no comment, a spokeswoman said.
Last month, EMusic said it was set to deploy a new technology to identify its songs that are being traded online by Napster users. EMusic said it will begin using “acoustic fingerprinting” to monitor the songs being shared on Napster that allegedly infringe on the rights of EMusic’s artist and label partners.