Access practice tools, as well as industry leading news, customizable alerts, dockets, and primary content, including a comprehensive collection of case law, dockets, and regulations. Leverage...
Dec. 7 — A songwriters group accused an organization representing radio stations in royalty negotiations of being an illegal cartel, in a complaint filed Dec. 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Global Music Rights, LLC v. Radio Music License Committee, Inc. , C.D. Cal., No. 16-09051, complaint filed 12/6/16 .
Global Music Rights LLC, which represents about 70 songwriters, said that the Radio Music License Committee Inc., whose membership includes 90 percent of traditional AM/FM radio stations, uses its market power to force down the rates that GMR’s members can collect when their songs are played on the radio.
“GMR simply sought ‘fair pay for fair play,’” according to the complaint. “In response to that, the RMLC cartel threatened ‘low pay or no play.’”
The self-styled “boutique” PRO was founded in 2013 to collect royalties on behalf of its songwriter members. It is considerably smaller than the major U.S. performance rights organizations— the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (600,000 members), Broadcast Music Inc. (750,000 members) and SESAC (35,000 members).
However, GMR’s small stable of composers includes some big names, such as Smokey Robinson, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Wiliams, Bruno Mars and John Lennon.
The antitrust complaint comes about a month after the RMLC itself sued GMR for anti-competitive behavior in a different federal court. Radio Music License Committee, Inc. v. Global Music Rights, LLC, E.D. Pa., No. 16-06076, complaint filed 11/18/16 .
The RMLC’s complaint said that GMR’s strategy was to “create a small, but indispensable repertory of ‘must-have’ musical works that radio stations, as a practical matter could not avoid playing, so that those stations would have no choice but to purchase a license from GMR at whatever rate GMR demanded.”
According to the RMLC, after its founding, “GMR quickly amassed a bundle of an estimated 20,000 essential works, from approximately 100 songwriters.”
Irving Azoff, founder of GMR and former head of Ticketmaster and Live Nation Entertainment, released a statement saying, “This is the most important fight of my professional life.”
The RMLC released a statement saying that it “will not roll over in the face of the baseless, bullying lawsuit” filed by GMR.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP represented GMR. White & Williams LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP represented the RMLC.
To contact the reporter on this story: Anandashankar Mazumdar in Washington at AMazumdar@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Wilczek at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)