AnywhereCD Fires Back At WMG In New Court Complaint
AnywhereCD has filed a court complaint against Warner Music Group seeking a declaratory judgment that AnywhereCD had not, as WMG alleged, breached its agreement with the concern and has the rights to sell MP3 albums of Warner Music artists. The company is also seeks damages for business defamation, trade libel and breach of contract.
Warner Music originally protested the launch of AnywhereCD, a project conceived by Michael Robertson, CEO of AnywhereCD and of MP3.com fame, that offers packaged CD and MP3-based downloads. Warner got cold feet about the implementation, and issued an immediate cease-and-desist order last week. The major complained that the AnywhereCD album play “flagrantly violates the terms of our agreement,” though Robertson refused to alter or dismantle the service.
“AnywhereCD has the utmost respect for the Warner Music Group (WMG) family of artists and we want to distribute their albums through our service,” Michael Robertson stated in a prepared response. “Unfortunately, we ran into a contractual disagreement that necessitates the help of the courts and ultimately the oversight of a judge. We hope to settle this matter quickly, and move forward with our stated business of selling the world’s best music as MP3 Albums.”
In the counter-action, AnywhereCD is not backing down from the CD/MP3 album-based combination business model. Robertson, who has a special knack for irritating the major labels, could also face a significant legal penalty if Warner prevails in a legal action. But he’s certainly willing to gamble. While we aren’t privy to the contract, Warner is still adamantly against releasing non-DRM digital music.