MP3tunes Steps Up Battle Against EMI

San Diego-based MP3tunes, the online music storage service headed by former founder Michael Robertson, is stepping up its legal battle against EMI. In an email, Robertson said this morning that it has submitted a legal response in the lawsuit filed against his firm by EMI. EMI claims that the service--which allows users to store music online and stream them to their PC, cell phones, and other devices--violated copyrights. Robertson claims that MP3tunes' services are protected by the DMCA, and is filing counter claims against EMI for engaging in "unfair, unlawful and deceptive business practices."

EMI's lawsuit particularly targets a feature on MP3tunes called "Sideload," which allows users to load tracks which are available free on the Internet, and which in many cases has listed copyrighted music tracks hosted on other sites. As part of the legal battle, Robertson asked his users to provide him with examples of where EMI is providing promotional MP3s online. Robertson has a long history of legal battles with the music industry starting with,, was sued by the RIAA and others over similar issues. Most recently, AnywhereCD, an online music retailer started by Robertson, was shut down due to a legal battle with Warner Music over the inclusion of MP3 format files with sales of physical CDs.