Yahoo!, Microsoft, RealNetworks Face Music Suit

Yahoo!, Microsoft and RealNetworks are being sued for copyright infringement by 13 music companies, who claimed that the companies’ respective Yahoo! Music, Zune and Rhapsody online music stores offered music downloads by artists including Aretha Franklin, The Carpenters, Grand Funk Railroad and Conway Twitty without having obtained copyrights, Techdirt reported.

According to the lawsuit, which can be viewed here, Yahoo!, Microsoft and RealNetworks licensed the copyrights on the recordings but did not license the copyrights on the compositions. Techdirt pointed out that record labels and publishers are separate entities, even though labels own publishers in many cases.

The publishers are seeking satisfaction for every single instance in which the affected songs were downloaded, according to Techdirt, which could overheat some calculators.