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RIAA Files Again

On Friday, the RIAA (www.riaa.com) filed suit against three more webcasters, MusicMatch, SonicNet and Xact Radio, claiming that they violate the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act, passed in 1995.

In May, the RIAA filed suit against Launch, over its interactive LaunchCast music service. As a result, Launch discontinued its service last week.

In the suits, the music labels claim that the webcasters do not qualify under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's compulsory license because they allow for too much interactivity. As such, the suit says that webcasters must gather licenses with individual labels.

Naturally, the companies say they are full compliance with the DMCA. In a statement, MusicMatch said that its radio service was "clearly eligible" for the statutory license under the DMCA.

Last week, MusicMatch, Listen.com, MTVi and Xact Radio (through the industry group DIMA), filed for a clarification with a California court, to rule on the definition of interactive webcasting. The companies claim that the DMCA is vague on what interactivity actually means.

"This action brought by the recording industry is unnecessary, and we are completely confident that the Federal Court will agree that MUSICMATCH Radio is a non-interactive service and eligible for DMCA statutory licenses," said MusicMatch.

"We believe this action is unnecessary since we expect that the California action will resolve the issue adequately," said SonicNet, in a statement.

As of press time, the interactive music services of all three companies are still operational.

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