US songwriters pitch in to help RIAA sue XM Satellite Radio
The American music industry body RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America) has recruited an ally in the form of the Songwriters Guild of America in its protest about the recording of streamed songs.
RIAA started its case against the digital XM Satellite Radio, America's biggest satellite radio station, back in May, alleging that it was promoting the theft of copyright material. Now, the Songwriters Guild has lent its legal support, in the form of filing an amicus brief in the case (volunteering to offer information to help a court decide a matter).
The filing refers to devices unfairly recording streamed versions of songs and describes XM as an 'illegal download service disguised in broadcast radio clothing', reports Digital Music News.
The dispute is superficially about the Pioneer-manufactured Inno device that allows XM subscribers to record up to 50 hours of material. This works out as around 1,000 tune's worth of XM content for playback solely on the Inno device.
The RIAA and XM were in negotiations to increase the royalties paid for the broadcast of music on the satellite service but these talks broke down.
For its part, XM has declared that the lawsuit is simply another method of extracting more money through the courts. The RIAA says that the current XM licence is merely to allow streamed music in the same way as traditional radio and not to promote recording and unlimited playback.