MP3tunes founder Michael Robertson in 2006.

jdlasica / flickr

Michael Robertson is an entrepreneur who is no stranger to drawn-out legal battles.

He founded MP3.com, an early music storage service that was ultimately sued out of existence by record labels.

And in 2005, he founded MP3tunes, which eventually suffered the same fate. MP3tunes filed for bankruptcy in 2012 after “four and a half years of legal torment,” wrote Robertson.
But the lawsuit against MP3tunes, filed by the EMI record label in 2007, marched onward even after the company’s demise.

The case has finally gone to a jury in a Manhattan federal court, and yesterday the jury handed down a verdict in favor of EMI. It ruled that Robertson should be liable for copyright violations for the creation of MP3tunes.
The jury did find for Robertson on a few points.

For instance, when he shut off access to certain MP3 files following takedown notices from EMI, the record label argued that he should actually delete those files from users’ personal lockers as well.

The jury found that Robertson wasn’t obligated to go that far.

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