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MP3.com Bows to Record Industry Pressure

In a move it hopes will propel talks to settle litigation with the record industry, MP3.com Inc. late Wednesday removed major performers from the service at the heart of the dispute.

The Recording Industry Association of America sued the firm in January, accusing it of violating U.S. copyright laws by playing songs from major label artists. Just last month, a federal judge sided with the record industry by granting the industry's motion for summary judgement holding MP3.com liable for copyright violations.

Since losing the dispute, MP3.com (MPPP) has held several round of settlement talks with the record industry. It also recently announced a licensing agreement with BMI.

MP3.com continued to offer access to the music in question until Wednesday's move.

MP3.com President and Chief Operating Officer Robin D. Richards said the move will have minimal impact on the company's bottom line.

"Although the My.MP3.com service is a fundamental element of our Music Service Provider (MSP) infrastructure, we believe it is important to point out that no direct revenues in the foreseeable future were projected from the My.MP3.com service."

Richards said the company continues to work "tirelessly" with major labels in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

The service allowed users to access MP3 versions of songs after they inserted a copy of a conventional compact disc as proof they owned the music.