RIAA vs XM Lawsuit: Judge Rules in Favor of Record Companies
Tags: 2, XM
In the lawsuit brought on by the RIAA vs XM Satellite Radio against their XM+MP3 devices, U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts has ruled that the suit can go to trial, finding merit the RIAA's claims.
XM argued that the XM+MP3 devices (i.e, the Inno, Helix, and Nexus) are protected by the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, which permits individuals to record music off the radio for private use. The judge said she did not believe XM was protected in this instance by the act.
The judge also said that XM operates like traditional radio broadcaster, but by broadcasting and storing copyrighted music for later recording by the consumer, the judge said XM is both a broadcaster and a distributor, but is only paying to be a broadcaster. This is a fundamentally incorrect statement. XM and Sirius do not pay the same broadcaster fees as a "traditional radio broadcaster" does (terrestrial radio in fact does not pay a single dime to the record companies)..
Batts also felt that the comparison of the XM+MP3 player and a cassette recorder is unfounded: "It is manifestly apparent that the use of a radio-cassette player to record songs played over free radio does not threaten the market for copyrighted works as does the use of a recorder which stores songs from private radio broadcasts on a subscription fee basis," she said.
So apparently the difference is that recording songs over free radio is OK, but recording songs over subscription radio is not.
XM issued this statement:
"At this stage of the proceeding, the court's ruling is required to be based on the false characterizations set forth in the plaintiffs' complaint. The real facts strongly support our view that the lawsuit is barred by the Audio Home Recording Act. We look forward to making our case in court."
Thanks to Jeff & Ian!