Website chiefs who illegally sold songs by the Beatles over the internet have agreed to pay almost $1 million (£625,000) to record companies after reaching a settlement, California court papers showed on Monday (28Mar11).
BlueBeat.com sold tracks by artists including the Fab Four, as well as Lily Allen and Coldplay, before music firms took legal action to have the website shut down almost two years ago (09).
By the time the online store was halted in November, 2009, it had sold more than 67,000 tracks by The Beatles in several days.
Heads at BlueBeat had denied any wrongdoing, insisting the site's owner Hank Risan had created a method of sharing called "psycho-acoustic simulation".
In December (10), a judge rejected the claims and ruled that BlueBeat violated labels including the Emi Group, Capitol Records and Virgin Records America's copyright and also created unfair competition by selling the cheap tracks. The site's bosses agreed to pay a settlement.
BlueBeat's attorney, Archie Robinson, says, "We basically settled the case for their attorney fees. I felt that was sort of an acknowledgement on their part that they don't have the damages they claimed."
The site is still active but currently doesn't have any songs by the Beatles available.