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News Sources reports that SoundExchange, the entity that collects and distributes royalties for the digital broadcasting of music, is suing Sirius XM on the basis of allegations that Sirius XM has misrepresented its accounting and has underpaid what it had owed in royalties. online news
The payments SoundExchange indicates it is owed cover the past “several” years, according to the documents, and date back to at least 2018.
For its part, Sirius XM denies the charges.
SoundExchange was established by way of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was passed by Congress and enacted into law in 1998.
The DMCA specified the requirement that entities that stream digitally recorded music over the internet and over sateelite radio pay royalties to SoundExchange.
Whereas internet radio entities and entities streaming music over the internet are required to pay royalties in the form of a fraction of one cent per performance, satellite radio has been required to pay royalties in the form of a percentage of revenue earned.
When setting royalty rates, the Copyright Royalty Board uses the “willing seller, willing buyer” standard.
That standard, codified in the DMCA, differs from the older standards that took into account not only the interests of copyright holders but those of copyright users and the public’s interest in access to works of art.
In any event, Sound Exchange maintains that Sirius XM has been confusing its webcasting and subscription-satellite radio parts, when accounting for royalties owed.
Sirius XM maintains that its accounting has been accurate.
SoundExchange insists that Sirius XM owes it $150 million.
The DMCA & the Copyright Board specify different rates for subscription-based services and services that provide online broadcasts without charge.
SoundExchange’s lawsuit reads in part:
“Sirius XM has exploited the creative efforts of recording artists without paying legally mandated compensation. Sirius XM has received ample and repeated opportunity to pay what it owes, but it has steadfastly refused.”
According to observers, the amount SoundExchange is claiming is an amount it had claimed some years ago before that case was settled.