NMPA files suit against XM Satellite Radio

Friday, March 23, 2007 at 8:39 AM
Tags: 2, XM

Pioneer InnoThe 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."

[The Hollywood Reporter



Long live the Inno. It has saved me countless thousands of dollars and nothing beats recording a Dodger game that is an instant classic and then listening it to over and over waiting for baseball season to come. Best satradio ever invented!

A completely BS lawsuit, IMHO. And the NMPA's claim that the XM receivers record "perfect digital copies" just shows their cluelessness even moreso. And finally, XM+MP3 isn't a service. XM is a service. The Inno/Helix/Nexus are all XM receivers and MP3 players, or XM+MP3 devices. They don't record XM to MP3. They don't allow one to take content that has been recorded and move it from the device to a computer. And I'm sure that once XM wins the RIAA lawsuit, this case will have the same outcome.

Greedy music industry. Satellite Radio is your saving grace, bringing hundreds of artists that would otherwise get NO AIRPLAY WHATSOEVER anywhere anymore into the public eye. And how do you thank one of the industries that pays the MOST MUSIC ROYALTIES of any broadcast industry? With lawsuits.

I just do NOT understand why these organizations who represent artists keep trying to "Kill the Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs."

A pretty good business proverb is:

"The Bulls and Bears Make Money, but the Pigs Always Lose."

If NMPA and RIAA and the other greedy airheads prevail on these suits, they could literally kill the business.

Then, they get nothing.

Internet radio is probably doomed already.

God must love stupid people... He sure made a lot of them.

Does TIVO or Comcast (Motorola DVRs) have to pay the artists and/or the TV broadcasters, who own the content, extra $$ to RECORD (time/shift) the content ??
I don't think so.

So - how is the Inno any different ?

So where is the law suit for sirius for there S-50 and s-100

this is totally ridiculous .. if this is illegal then why has it been ok for years to own a receiver or portable radio equipped with a tape recorder or a television with a VCR .. get with the times NMPA

Let me explain. Under Section 115 of the US Copyright Act folks who distribute "Digital Phonorecord Deliveries" (the legal term for downloads) pay a royalty rate which is currently 9.1 cents per download. The Inno allows a user to record a block of XM programing and then keep forever any songs that are stored on the device. These songs can be played back on demand. Just like a song purchased from iTunes. But in that case Apple pays the 9.1 cent royalty. BTW, this royalty is set by Congress. How is the XM song stored on the Inno different from the iTunes song stored on an iPod? How is the XM song not a DPD? Why should Apple have to pay the royalty and XM not? With respect to its antitrust problem XM has stated that its competitors are actually other digital music service providers -- but those providers pay mechanical royalties. XM should not be able to have it both ways.

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