Dylan, Joel and Taylor Sue Vivendi's MP3.com

By | October 9, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Rock stars Bob Dylan (news), Billy Joel (news) and James Taylor (news) filed a lawsuit against Vivendi Universal’s MP3.com music Web site for allegedly distributing their songs without authorization, sources familiar with the suit said on Tuesday.

A spokesman for MP3.com declined comment.

Sources familiar with both the artists and the company said they had been made aware of the lawsuit in the last few days.

The artists are not the first to sue MP3.com, which was the target of major litigation brought against it on behalf of the world’s major record labels in January 2000 for infringement.

MP3.com settled the copyright battle by paying out about $175 million and was then later bought by Vivendi Universal, one of its legal foes, for about $372 million.

The pioneering music portal sparked the wrath of the recording industry with its My.MP3.com service, which allowed users to register compact discs they own through the company’s software and then listen to that music on any computer hooked into the Internet.

Before launching the service, the company failed to get permission from record labels and publishers.

In January, MP3.com sued its former counsel for fraud and legal malpractice, claiming its lawyers advised MP3.com that its My.Mp3.com service was a legal undertaking.

The musicians’ suit, reportedly filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, claims MP3.com digitally copied their tracks from commercial CDs and then offered the music files to users.

All three artists are signed to labels owned by Sony Corp.

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