Puretunes.com Settles Record Companies’ Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
October 25, 2004
The company and operators behind the Puretunes.com website, an online service which formerly sold unauthorized unlimited music downloads, have agreed to an out-of-court settlement of a copyright infringement lawsuit brought last year by the major record companies, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced today.
As part of the settlement, Sakfield Holding Co., Daniel Rung, Michael Rung, Matthew Rung and Wayne Rosso are permanently enjoined by a federal court from infringing or contributing to the infringement of the plaintiffs’ copyrights. Also, under the settlement agreement, Sakfield Holding Co. is ordered to pay the major record companies $10 million while the four individuals behind the service must pay a total of $500,000.
Major record companies including EMI Music North America, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and BMG (now Sony BMG Music Entertainment) sued Sakfield in July 2003 for illegally selling copyrighted music at Puretunes.com. The actual operators of the site -- Rosso and the Rungs -- were identified after a comprehensive international legal search through several corporate entities in multiple foreign countries.
“Puretunes.com duped consumers by claiming it was a legitimate online music retailer when, in fact, it was no such thing,” said Cary Sherman, President, RIAA. “When consumers go online to buy music from those advertising themselves as licensed, they have every right to expect that they are buying legitimate, licensed products. Puretunes.com ignored that obligation. It’s essential for the integrity and security of the legitimate online music marketplace that imposters like Puretunes.com are held accountable.”
At the time the suit was first brought, the Rungs and Rosso, through Sakfield Holding (a Spanish company), claimed it had obtained licenses from Spanish trade associations that represented publishers and musicians, and that it had complied with Spanish copyright laws.
When it was operating, Puretunes.com sold eight hours of unlimited downloads for $3.99 and a full month of downloads for $24.99. The website’s operations were suspended in June 2003.
The Recording Industry Association of America is the trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry. Its mission is to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members' creative and financial vitality. Its members are the record companies that comprise the most vibrant national music industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States. In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists; conduct consumer industry and technical research; and monitor and review - - state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifiesGold®, Platinum®, Multi-Platinum™, and Diamond sales awards, Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.