A website that illegally sold Beatles songs online for 25 cents each has agreed to pay record companies almost $1m to settle a legal case BlueBeat.com, based in the US, streamed and sold music by The Beatles, Coldplay and others until it was sued in 2009. In the few days before it was forced to ... shut down, it had distributed more than 67,000 Beatles tracks. Judge Josephine Tucker ruled that the site had violated the music labels' copyright and was unfair competition.
BlueBeat had denied wrongdoing, claiming that owner Hank Risan's pioneering technique of so-called "psycho-acoustic simulation" allowed him to produce unique versions of copyrighted music. The judge rejected that argument on the grounds that Mr Risan's versions were based on tracks he had purchased on CD. She labelled the justification as "obscure and undefined pseudo-scientific language [that] appears to be a long-winded way of describing 'sampling'."