Santa Cruz bazed Media Rights Technologies (MRT), a company founded by theoretical mathematics whiz and Mark Twain memorabilia collector Hank Risan, has been hit with a whopping Beatles bill.
A court has ruled that the company’ subsidiary BlueBeat.com was in clear copyright violation for selling remastered Fab Four songs online at 25 cents a pop, before they were legally available anywhere. As a result, MRT has agreed to pay $950,000 in damages. Jacqui Cheng at Wired revisits Risan’s misguided rationale:
MRT claimed it was not violating any copyrights, because it actually controlled the copyrights for the music it sells. “I authored the sound recordings that are being used by psycho-acoustic simulation,” Risan wrote in an e-mail to the RIAA. “Psycho-acoustic simulations are my synthetic creation of that series of sounds which best expresses the way I believe a particular melody should be heard as a live performance.”
Capitol Records America and Virgin were co-plaintiffs with EMI. Sounds like the only thing left for Risan to do now at this point is find an appropriate Twain quote.