Universal Spent $12M To Win “Pyrrhic Victory” Against Michael Robertson, MP3tunes
Universal Music has been chasing MP3tunes since 2009. Whatever the merits of labels taking legal action music tech companies from Napster to Grooveshark, the cost of these lawsuits are indirectly born by artists and almost never are financial wins shared with them.
In recent court filings, attorneys for Universal Music Group seek an additional $7,195,000 in legal fees in their case against MP3tunes and founder Michael Robertson. Previously, the courts awarded UMG attorneys $5 million in fees.
If the request stands, Universal Music's legal team will have been paid in excess $12 million to win a judgement of $12,241,000 against Robertson and $11 million against a bankrupt MP3tunes.
In the filing U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley blames both sides for the drawn out litigation and says that the final decision which effectively netted $12 million in damages "suggests a Pyrrhic victory."
Robertson had been found liable for direct infringement for transferring some unlicensed songs. The judge also found that “users of MP3tunes unlawfully copied songs from unauthorized third-party websites” and ruled that the company had not removed after they were identified, as the DMCA requires.