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Songwriters Support RIAA in Suit Against XM

Songwriters Support RIAA in Suit Against XM

The Songwriters Guild of America has filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting major record labels in their lawsuit against XM Satellite Radio.
In May, the labels sued XM over its new portables, which receive XM and allow subscribers to store up to 50 hours of MP3 files.
In the suit, the RIAA alleges that the satellite firm was morphing the broadcast of music into the distribution of music, thereby competing with the iTunes and Rhapsody models without appropriate licenses. The music labels seek $150,000 for every song copied on the device.
XM has asked the federal court to throw out the suit; it says the portables comply with the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act and do not allow the user to move the music files off the device. The songs are also saved only for as long as someone is paying for an XM subscription, the company says.
CEA backed XM in a related court filing.
Tthe songwriters’ organization says the AHRA was never intended to cover digital download services such as XM’s new XM + MP3 service.