Publishers Successfully Resolve Infringement Suit Against Motive Force and Sean Colombo
January 5, 2010
WASHINGTON–National Music Publishers’ Association members successfully resolved their copyright infringement lawsuit against Motive Force LLC and Sean Colombo for the exploitation of unlicensed lyrics for profit through their operation of an illegal website and as the source of unauthorized content for numerous web applications, the trade association announced today.
Peermusic, Warner/Chappell and Bug Music have secured a consent judgment against Motive Force and Mr. Colombo that permanently enjoins them from using unlicensed song lyrics in connection with websites or software applications. Defendants will also turn over funds associated with the exploitation of the unauthorized content. The previously unlicensed music content on the Motive Force website is now in the possession of a licensed lyric website provider.
Peermusic, Warner/Chappell and Bug Music filed the action against Motive Force LLC and Mr. Colombo in the Federal Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in August 2009. The NMPA members also filed an action against LiveUniverse, Inc. and its owner Brad Greenspan in the Federal Court of the Central District of California for willful copyright infringement on a vast scale. The publishers seek both equitable relief and damages for the infringing company’s knowing and unlicensed use of the lyrics from musical compositions on its web sites. The LiveUniverse and Greenspan action continues to be prosecuted.
“The NMPA is pleased that another unlicensed website and its owner have been brought to justice,” said David Israelite, NMPA President and CEO. “Unauthorized sites that profit on the backs of songwriters will not be tolerated. The successful resolution of this matter should serve as an example to the owners of all unauthorized music websites and web applications. Web operators can easily obtain licenses through numerous authorized sources, including LyricFind, Gracenote and The Harry Fox Agency. There is simply no excuse to fail to license music content and become a legitimate Internet business.”
For the past three years, the NMPA has sent cease and desist notices to hundreds of illegal sites, providing multiple warnings and opportunities for the site operators to license the content and operate legally. These efforts have resulted in a significant reduction of illegal sites, as the majority of those contacted have either ceased operation or taken licenses.
About the NMPA
Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights.