Randy Newman Sues MP3.com

Songwriters Randy Newman, Tom Waits and members of the rock band Heart have filed a $40.5 million copyright infringement lawsuit against Internet music site MP3.com.

The songwriters, who all own the copyrights to their music, assert that the San Diego-based Web site illegally gives listeners access to their songs over the My.Mp3.com service. The suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The suit claims that songs such as Newman’s hits, “I Love LA” and “Short People” as well as “Downtown Train” by Waits and “Barracuda” by Heart, were illegally copied onto MP3.com’s computers and made available for listening to anyone who “proved” ownership of the artist’s music by briefly inserting a compact disc into a computer.

The songwriters claim about 270 songs are illegally available through the service and are asking for the maximum penalty of $150,000 for each song.

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