Radio Music License Committee Sues Global Music Rights
November 21, 2016 at 5:38 AM (PT)
The RADIO MUSIC LICENSE COMMITTEE has filed an antitrust suit against IRVING AZOFF's GLOBAL MUSIC RIGHTS, alleging that the upstart performance rights licensing agency is a monopoly controlling the music in its catalog that can charge monopoly rates for its repertory.
The suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PENNSYLVANIA notes that GMR, unlike ASCAP and BMI, is a for-profit private firm, and says that GMR "has created a bottleneck to, and artificial monopoly over, the works in its repertory" that has thus far avoided being subject to the same rate regulation now governing ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. The RMLC is seeking injunctive relief to force GMR to submit to the kind of judicial rate-making procedure that the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees impose, and the RMLC is also moving for a preliminary injunction to block GMR from charging monopoly prices for a GMR license while the litigation is pending.
RMLC Chairman ED CHRISTIAN said, “Resorting to litigation is never a first option for the RMLC. This legal process will undoubtedly prove to be taxing in terms of the amount of labor and expense involved. Yet, we feel that GMR’s exorbitant fee demands are out of balance with their competitors and would do irreparable harm to our industry and this has left us with no other alternative.”