MediaBay hits Napster with copyright complaint

Embattled song-swapping service Napster Inc. was swatted with yet another copyright infringement complaint Thursday, this time by old-time radio show and nostalgia product seller MediaBay Inc.

In its complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, MediaBay charged that Napster contributed to “vicarious copyright infringement and unfair competition” by trading MediaBay radio programs without its permission, the company said in a statement. The company is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages, and is requesting that Napster filter out their programs and blocks them from being traded.

Representatives for Napster Thursday said they had no comment on MediaBay’s charges.

The latest complaint comes as another thorn in the side of Napster, which has been busy fighting a copyright infringement lawsuit that was filed by the Recording Industry Association of America Inc. (RIAA) in December of 1999.

The RIAA lawsuit, lodged on behalf of the Big Five record labels – BMG Entertainment Inc., Warner Bros. Music Group Inc., EMI Group PLC, Sony Music Entertainment Inc. and Universal Music Group Inc. – alleged that the music companies stand to lose billions of dollars in royalties due to Napster’s freewheeling music-swapping service.

Hit with a court injunction Napster has been implementing a series of filters recently to weed out the service’s copyright material, but some are still claiming that the rogue site has not gone far enough in protecting their copyrighted works.

In a statement, MediaBay said that it believes that the court’s injunction against Napster “is a key step toward leveling the playing field for legitimate downloadable (sic) audio companies.”

MediaBay, in Cedar Knolls, N.J., can be reached at

Napster, in San Mateo, Calif., can be reached at The RIAA, in Washington, D.C., can be reached at