EMI Music Publishing is suing a website that lets users change their mobile phone ringing tones to popular songs, because it says the service breaches copyright.
Yourmobile.com, run by Californian technology incubator Global Music One (GMO), offers short clips of hundreds of songs, ranging from the Indonesian national anthem to the Venga Boys, that users can upload to their mobiles for free.
In a lawsuit filed in a federal court in New York this week, EMI is seeking at least $150,000 for each of 300 songs on which it holds the copyright that were distributed via the site. These include John Lennon's Imagine, the James Bond theme and Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.
EMI alleges in its filing that GMO and its chairman Ralph Simon "are copyright pirates. They have engaged in a deliberate, fraudulent and deceptive scheme, engineered by Mr Simon, to infringe EMI Music Publishing's copyrights in immensely popular musical compositions."
GMO has since removed the songs named in the suit. The company could not be reached today for comment, but Simon told Dow Jones Newswires that he was working on a settlement with EMI and already had licensing deals in place with other publishers.
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