October 11, 2007
Zomba sued PerezHilton.com for copyright infringement on Thursday, saying the gossip Web site illegally posted recordings by pop singer Britney Spears.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles Thursday, accused the Web site and its proprietor, Mario Lavandeira, of illegally obtaining and posting at least 10 completed songs and unfinished demos.
The songs are from Spears's upcoming album "Blackout," her first album in four years. The postings occurred over the past three months, Zomba said in a statement.
"Blackout" was scheduled to be released on November 13 by Jive Records, which is part of Zomba Label Group, Zomba said.
Jive moved up the U.S. release date to October 30 and the international release a day earlier because some recordings had been leaked online, the company said on Wednesday.
The suit does not specify the amount of monetary damages, but asks for real and punitive damages as well as legal costs. Zomba owns the copyrights to Spears' recordings.
Spears, 25, is not a party to the lawsuit, Zomba said.
The album is coming out as Spears fights in court with her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, over their two children. Spears lost custody of her two sons, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, last week to Federline. Spears asked a Los Angeles judge on Thursday for permission to spend nights with her the children, but the judge declined to rule on her request. Her lawyers filed an emergency motion asking for overnight visitation rights.
The lawsuit was filed by Zomba Recording LLC, which owns the copyrights to Spears's recordings. Zomba Label Group is a unit of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a joint venture between Sony Corp and Bertelsmann AG.
Spears has released a single from the album, "Gimme More," which reached No. 1 on the digital songs charts earlier this month despite a poorly received comeback performance at an awards show. The song posted 179,000 U.S. downloads during its first week.
It also hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, which is based on radio airplay, downloads and Internet streaming. It is her highest ranking there since her debut single "... Baby One More Time" reached No. 1 in 1999.