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Merlin settle with XM over recordable radio device

By | Published on Tuesday 12 April 2011


Also settling a lawsuit this week is indie label digital rights body Merlin, which has reached a settlement with US satellite radio giant Sirius XM over the Pioneer Inno recordable radio device.

This device, made by Pioneer in partnership with XM, not only lets users record live radio programmes for future listening, but also lets users pull out individual tracks and plonk them into a playlist which can then be played on demand. Although tracks cannot be transferred off the radio device, when the Pioneer Inno first arrived on the scene most record labels argued the individual track storage element of the system was not covered by XM’s existing music licences.

Litigation followed, with XM reaching a settlement with each of the majors between 2007 and 2008. But the radio firm was less compliant with the independents, until now. Because Merlin’s lawsuit became a class action, the terms of this week’s settlement will apply to all independent labels whose music was played on the XM network between 2006 and 2010, and not just those indies formally affiliated to Merlin. Which is rather cool.

Merlin man Charles Caldas told CMU: “This is an important settlement, not just for Merlin’s members, but also, I am pleased to say, for the independent community at large. This announcement underlines the value that Merlin has brought to its members by creating a body that ensures that they, and not just the major labels, have the opportunity to benefit from settlements such as this one”.