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Sirius XM sued for underpayment of royalties

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Aug 2013 3:15

Sirius XM sued for underpayment of royalties SoundExchange has filed a lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio Inc seeking at least $50 million in damages for allegedly underpaying royalties.
The suit alleges that from 2007 to 2012, Sirius XM underpaid SoundExchange for a statutory license for broadcasting recordings to its subscribers by reducing by 10-15 percent the gross revenues it reports to calculate the royalty payments. It said Sirius XM's change in calculation of revenue was due to performances of recordings from before 1972.

Sirius XM holds that the statutory license established under federal law does not extend to recordings made before that year.

"We cannot sit by and watch this multi-billion dollar company reap record profits from the creative contributions of artists and labels without paying them everything they deserve," SoundExchange Chief Executive Michael Huppe said in a statement.

SoundExchange is a nonprofit organization that deals with performance rights and is designated by the U.S. Copyright Office. Its job is to collect royalties for performance artists and copyright holders for when their music is performed on a digital radio or satellite service. The group represents over 3,000 record labels and 20,000 artists, ranging from major labels to independent labels and from famous signed artists to unsigned performers.

SoundExchange enforces the rights provided to copyright holders it represents under the Digital Performance in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998.

The lawsuit is seeking at least $50 million, but SoundExchange is hoping for a $100 million or higher reward.

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