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HMV and OD2 sued over European download patent

E-Data Corporation has sued the HMV Group and on-line music distributor OD2, alleging infringement of a European patent which claims to covers the downloading and recording of information, such as music, news articles and films from a computer onto a tangible object, such as a CD or a sheet of paper.03 Sep 2003

E-Data recently began an aggressive licensing and patent enforcement campaign in the ten European Union countries where it holds the rights to its so-called 'Freeny' patent.

In addition to the lawsuits against HMV and OD2, E-Data is also suing Dutch publisher Satellite Newspapers and has alerted several other European companies to their need for a license under the Freeny patent.

The company warns that it will not hesitate to launch additional legal actions if necessary.

Tibor T. Tallos, president of E-Data Corporation stated:

"This litigation will likely have widespread ramifications within the European music and publishing industries. The web site of HMV, one of On Demand Distribution's customers, specifically permits the consumer to burn downloaded music onto a CD, or record it onto a portable playing device. Similarly, a Satellite Newspapers kiosk is capable of receiving files and on-demand printing of newspapers. We believe these activities are in clear violation of our patents."

OD2, co-founded by Peter Gabriel, recently struck a deal with Microsoft to offer Windows users a service that rivals Apple's popular iTunes.