Record Labels Sue Internet Archive for Digitized Music of Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis and More

Record labels such as Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment have filed a lawsuit against Internet Archive over its collection of digitized recordings from old albums.

According to Deadline, the lawsuit was filed on August 11 in federal court and accused the nonprofit’s “Great 78 Project” of being an “illegal record store,” as all the music are available to stream on services with the proper authorization and “face no danger of being lost, forgotten, or destroyed.” The labels are alleging that damages can cost up to $412 million USD from the supposed copyright infringement.

The Great 78 Project includes 2,749 sound recordings and music from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Billie Holiday, with the lawsuit specifying Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” and Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” as examples.

The project is billed as “a community project for the preservation, research and discovery of 78rpm records,” and although Internet Archive notes that many of the “commercially viable recordings” have been restored or remastered, the goal of the Great 78 Project is to “bring to light the decisions by music collectors over the decades and a digital reference collection of underrepresented artists and genres. The digitization will make this less commonly available music accessible to researchers in a format where it can be manipulated and studied without harming the physical artifacts.”

Internet Archive did not respond or release a statement.

Elsewhere in music, HHV unveiled a limited edition vinyl LP of Madvillainy.
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