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Time Running Out to Register for Music Settlement

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Music fans have until Monday to register for their $5 to $20 share of a settlement involving major U.S. record labels and retailers.

The settlement came in a lawsuit, consolidated in federal court in Portland, that accuses the labels and music retailers of conspiring to set minimum prices.

All U.S. residents who bought at least one CD, cassette or album between 1995 and 2000 can register online for a piece of the $44 million class-action settlement.

The latest figures, from October through Tuesday, indicate 2.8 million people had signed up on the Web. Figures from the Recording Industry Association of America show that 4.98 billion CDs were sold in the United States between 1995 and 2000.

The defendants, who include record labels Sony, EMI, Universal and Bertelsmann as well as store chains such as Tower Records, have denied any wrongdoing.

The settlement is subject to approval by a federal judge, who has set a hearing for May 22.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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