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Music Publishers Ready Major Push Against Online Copyright Violators

The Music Publishers' Association plans to send "cease and desist" letters to commercial sites that offer unlicensed print music, among other actions.

The Music Publishers' Association said Monday it plans to launch by early February its first major push to shut down Web sites that illegally offer copyrighted sheet music.

The New York-based group plans to send "cease and desist" letters to commercial sites that offer unlicensed print music, MPA President Lauren Keiser said. The group also plans to send letters to Internet service providers, notifying them that they are hosting sites engaged in illegal activity.

"We're not going after fan sites," Keiser said. "We're going after Web sites whose sole business model is to take unlicensed copyrighted material and publish it on their sites."

Many of the targeted businesses are drawing revenue from banner advertising from large companies, Keiser said.

"They are making money and not paying our writers," he said.

The planned legal action marks a change among music publishers, which had been filing individual lawsuits against copyright violators.

"We felt that it would be stronger, if we took a unified approach," Keiser said.

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