Stock Watch: Court Ruling Pounds MP3.com

MP3.com (Nasdaq: MPPP) plunged 4 5/8 to 7 Friday after a U.S. federal court sided with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in a copyright infringement suit.

The court found that the company was infringing upon record companies’ patents, and granted the industry group’s motion for a summary judgment holding MP3 liable. The RIAA has asked for damages of more than $6 billion.

The RIAA, which represents several major record companies, sued MP3.com in January, alleging that the company’s technology allows users to get around paying for copyrighted works. The San Diego, California-based MP3.com lets users create digital copies of CDs and store them in the My.MP3.com database of 45,000 CDs.

The court will issue a formal opinion in two weeks. The ruling could set a precedent for several other lawsuits also pending against MP3, including some filed by entertainers who say their work is being copied without their permission.

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