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MP3tunes Feature In CE Devices May Go Dark

5/14/2012 12:46:26 PM Eastern
San Diego - A Cloud-based music-storage feature available on many CE devices might be going dark now that MP3tunes, a Cloud-based music-locker service, has filed for Chapter 7 liquidation.

MP3tunes enabled users to upload songs to its music-locker service, then stream the stored songs to broadband-connected devices, such as select Onkyo A/V receivers, the Wii and PlayStation3 game consoles, Tivo DVRs, the Roku set-top box, and tabletop Internet radios from Grace Digital, Acoustic Research, Tangent, and Oxx. Users could also stream to any PC and to iPhones and Android phones equipped with an MP3tunes app.

A custom-installed music server available from Autonomic Controls is also available with MP3tunes compatibility. The server lets users back up their music collections to MP3tunes, but the company says not to worry. "MP3tunes is one of three available Cloud services that can be used with the Mirage Media Server," said Michael de Nigris, Autonomic CEO and co-founder. "Amazon Cloud Drive and Apple iCloud with the Mirage Media Sync are two other options that allow customers to synchronize content between locations, playback media from the Cloud, and back up their files.

de Nigris called MP3Tunes "a pioneer of Cloud-based music lockers, and we would be sad to see them go away," he said. "However, should they fail to emerge from bankruptcy, customers can shift over to one or both of the other available services very easily and with no loss of functionality."

MP3 tunes filed Chapter 7 last week because of a copyright suit launched in 2007 by 15 record companies and music publishers, Reuters reported. Last year as a result of the suit, a federal judge in New York City ruled that MP3 tunes and founder Michael Robertson were liable for "contributory" copyright infringement for allowing storage and sharing of pirated songs and not taking down the pirated songs when notified of alleged infringement by the music industry. The judge also found that Robertson personally transferred songs from unauthorized websites to MP3tunes. Another hearing is scheduled later this month.

In a statement, EMI Music and EMI Music Publishing vowed that although MP3tunes might escape liability through a Chapter 7 liquidation, Robertson won't. "While Robertson may believe that MP3tunes will be able to escape liability in the upcoming trial through this bankruptcy, Robertson himself is still a named defendant in the case, and the court has already determined that both he and MP3tunes have infringed EMI's copyrights," the companies said. "As such, he is facing personal liability both for infringements that the court has already determined have occurred and for the further alleged infringements that will be addressed at trial."
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