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Ford fires back at Alliance Of Artists And Recording Companies

By | Published on Wednesday 15 October 2014


Ford has hit back in the previously reported legal battle instigated by the often forgotten (or entirely forgotten until this lawsuit) Alliance Of Artists And Recording Companies, an American organisation that exists to collect, distribute and administer royalties generated by the copying levies that are applied in some jurisdictions on products that allow users to make copies of copyright works.

In the wider scheme of things the royalties collected by the AARC are pretty modest – less than $1 million last year – but those figures would shoot up if it was successful in its legal action against both Ford and General Motors. The lawsuit argues that the car firms are in breach of America’s Audio Home Recording Act for putting hard disks into its vehicles – which, amongst other things, allow users to rip music onto the disk for in-car enjoyment – without paying a levy into the music industry.

Unsurprisingly, given the AARC is looking for $2500 for every car sold with a hard disk on board, Ford has moved to have the lawsuit dismissed. According to The Hollywood Reporter, as expected the car firm is relying on a late 1990s ruling that said that MP3 players – specifically the Rio MP3 player – did not fall under the Audio Home Recording Act because it could store files other than sound recordings. That ruling greatly limited the reach of the Act, and should render it irrelevant in this case, says Ford.

The litigation does seem ambitious on the AARC’s part, but it will be interesting to see how it fairs if and when the case gets to court.