A U.S. district court judge has fined Imeem, the music site, $1.77 million after it failed to appear in court to respond to a copyright infringement lawsuit. The suit, filed Oct. 21 by The Orchard Enterprises, an independent music distributor, had been the final straw for the troubled company before it sold “certain assets” to MySpace for less than $1 million and was promptly shut down.
The Orchard had demanded Imeem hand over its profits from its labels’ music or pay $150,000 per instance of copyright infringement, saying a previous arrangement with the Imeem-purchased Snocap only allowed the site to distribute samples, not full streamed tracks.
Judge Denny Chin, in a default judgment issued Dec. 17, ordered that Imeem pay $1.77 million to the Orchard; discontinue streaming, copying and reproducing the Orchard’s music; and hand over any materials associated with the music.
A MySpace spokesperson today said that the company was not involved in the suit — so it may be that MySpace was able to structure the Imeem deal to acquire whatever assets of the startup were not being sued.
MySpace today promises would-be Imeem visitors on a landing page, “We are working hard to migrate all of your playlists over to MySpace Music. We’ll email you about that as soon as we have more details.” We’re not sure what Imeem assets were retained after the MySpace deal; the acquisition had only kept on four Imeem executives, and just in consulting roles.
Imeem had raised somewhere around $35 million from investors including Morgenthaler Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Warner Music, which had previously sued it as well.