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CEA Decries Record Industry Lawsuit Against XM

CEA Decries Record Industry Lawsuit Against XM

The Consumer Electronics Association is speaking out against the lawsuit filed by several record labels against XM Satellite Radio for alleged copyright infringement.
The litigation involves the Pioneer Inno XM2go radio. Record labels believe the device, which allows XM subscribers to record and store 50 hours of music, is similar to a download service because it allows the user to “disaggregate” music – allowing users to store the music in a preferred order, rather than the way it originally aired.
The RIAA believes XM should pay higher music licensing fees.
Sirius recently settled with several labels on higher fees related to its S50; XM has so far refused, believing labels want to keep consumers from privately recording off-air.
CEA Vice President of Government Affairs Michael Petricone said, “The record industry is returning to the courts in their non-stop efforts to stop new technology, neuter existing products, frustrate consumers and make illegal long-standing consumer home recording activities.”
Petricone called the suit – which XM has said it intends to “vigorously defend” – a “brazen effort by the labels to strong-arm more money from a successful technology industry startup. XM Radio already is the largest single payer of digital music broadcast royalties,” he continued. “More, the record labels receive royalties on every XM recording device sold as provided by Congress under the Audio Home Recording Act.”
CEA says it will support XM in its defense.
The lawsuit comes as the RIAA, CEA, receiver makers and broadcasters are trying to work out the audio flag issue. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to do that, although their chances at passage are seen as slim. Lawmakers prefer that industry work out the issue. NAB recently testified before a congressional committee that those talks are going well.
CEA says the suit now undermines that effort.