Sony, Universal starting online music service that will let users burn songs to CDs


Tuesday, December 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A second online music service sponsored by major record labels plans to launch next month and will allow its users to burn a limited number of tracks onto compact discs, though they won't be allowed to transfer the music to portable digital music players.

The service, Pressplay, is a joint venture of Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group.

Pressplay officials didn't say Monday how much the new service would cost or exactly when it would launch. It uses technology pioneered by MP3.com, which was bought by Universal earlier this year.

A similar service called MusicNet was launched last week by RealNetworks Inc. and AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann and EMI Group. Users of the pay-for-play service are able to listen to songs streamed over the Internet or downloaded to a computer, but they aren't allowed to burn the music onto compact discs.

Meanwhile, the original online music-sharing giant, Napster, was in federal appeals court Monday.

Both Napster and the members of the music industry that sued it for copyright-infringement asked a judge to modify a lower court's ruling.

An attorney for the recording industry, Russell Frackman, said the lower court unfairly placed the burden on the record companies to monitor Napster for violations and then complain every time Napster users trade files in violation of a copyright.

Napster attorney Lawrence Robbins said another requirement, that Napster block every copyright violation, doesn't reflect technological limits and is a harsher standard than law requires. He also said the record labels should provide specific computer file names so Napster can remove the files and, if necessary, bar the people who posted them.

Napster shut down in July after the judge's ruling and has been working toward a subscription-based service.