Even though MP3tunes.com came out mostly on top back in August when a judge ruled that the services the site provides (personal storage locker for your music, pooling streams of music available for free online) did not directly violate EMI’s copyrights, the drawn-out battle between the major label and the small company has taken its toll and MP3tunes.com has officially filed for bankruptcy. EMI originally sued the site back in 2007, and after seven years of protracted legal quarrels, MP3tunes is reported to be left with only $7,754 in assets and almost $2.2 million in liabilities. I’m no accountant, but that doesn’t seem like a good position to be in.
While the site looks to be up and running and accepting new users, no official word has been released regarding the actual fate of the service. Founder Michael Robertson has come out to publicly decry the practices of EMI and its major label brethren, though, saying, “This is what they do. The labels engage in multiyear legal battles and put small companies through hell for years.” Given this outcome, it’s hard to argue with that assessment, especially since a federal court has yet to find fault with anything that the site has done directly.
Following the August decision, though, EMI continued to sue MP3tunes over the fact that the site didn’t immediately take down any stored music acquired via available online streams that the label deemed illegal. Even though MP3tunes had nothing to do with the original posting of the supposedly illegal material, and that the material would have disappeared from its users storage lockers if the label would have gotten the actual violator to take it down, MP3tunes is taking the bullet in this whole mess.