NMPA files suit against XM Satellite Radio
Tags: 2, XM
The National Music Publishers Association has filed a lawsuit against XM Satellite Radio claiming that XM engages in massive copyright infringement through the ability to record satellite radio broadcasts.
According to the NMPA, the suit was filed after months of discussions between NMPA and XM regarding the satellite radio company's obligation to compensate creators for the songs it distributes. The plaintiffs in the suit are Famous Music, Warner/Chappell, Sony/ATV and EMI music publishers.
"Filing a lawsuit was our last resort, but we felt that we had no choice," NMPA president and CEO David Israelite said. "We want new technologies to succeed, but it can't be at the expense of the creators of music. All that we ask is that music publishers and songwriters be fairly compensated for their efforts."
Yet amazingly enough, XM already pays licenses for compositions from performing rights organizations ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. XM dismissed the lawsuit as a bargaining chip.
"The lawsuit filed by the NMPA is a negotiating tactic to gain an advantage in our ongoing business discussions," says a spokesman for XM.
The complaint seeks a maximum of $150,000 in statutory damages for each work infringed by XM.
"XM has been profiting at the expense of others," said Debra Wong Yang of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Llp., the lead attorney on the case. "The XM + MP3 service constitutes pervasive and willful copyright infringement to the overwhelming detriment of copyright holders, legitimate online music services and, ultimately, consumers."
XM contends that the NMPA failed to mention that the company pays millions in royalties each year.
"XM pays royalties to writers and composers who are also compensated by our device manufacturers," the company said. "We are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and that we will prevail."