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RIAA Sues XM Satellite Radio 402

skayell writes "The RIAA is suing XM Satellite radio contending that the ability to store songs in memory makes it similar to an iPod, but with no income involved for the RIAA." From the article: "XM said it will vigorously defend this lawsuit on behalf of consumers and also called the lawsuit a bargaining tactic. [...] The labels are currently in talks with XM and its rival Sirius Satellite Radio, to renegotiate digital royalty contracts for broadcasts."
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RIAA Sues XM Satellite Radio

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  • The last sentence... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wakkow ( 52585 ) * on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:56AM (#15348569) Homepage
    "Everything is changing and the industry is petrified"

    That just about sums it up.
  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:18AM (#15348653)
    ... a worthy opponent against the RIAA. I hope XM tears em a new one.

    Why would they? If it's going to cost them 10 million to "tear em a new one" in court, or 0.5 million in re-negotiated royalty fees, the choice is pretty clear. I'm not too up on corporate law, but it may be possible for shareholders to sue the directors if they tried to fight this when it was more economical to cave in. Warchest or no, companies are made to be profitable. It doesn't matter if they're the RIAA, XM, or Wallmart, they're not going to pay to fight someone else's battle.

    Expect this to be over very shortly as XM and the RIAA sort out a new licensing deal. The legal threat is just a strong-arm political tactic by the RIAA.
  • by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) * <> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @03:07AM (#15348829) Homepage
    XM uses AACplus at 64kbs (last I checked). And it's better than the radio, in that there's no static.. just dead spots. And the RIAA sued internet stations a few years ago, and they have to pay a license fee.. The RIAA has already said "You're legit as long as you pay" to the internet radio stations. Although, I've heard they're going back after them to force them to use DRM.. The funny thing is, the only stations I listen to on XM and streaming online, are unsigned artists. XMU FTW!
  • by hpcanswers ( 960441 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @03:26AM (#15348892)
    According to the article, XM's device does not allow on-demand downloading, nor does it allow content transfers. Sony, a member of RIAA, should remember the results of the Betamax case [].
  • ignoring the market? (Score:2, Informative)

    by throbi ( 958043 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @03:27AM (#15348898) Journal
    It seems that EMI, Sony-BMG, Universal Music and Warner don't give a shit about the market. The market wants downloadable/streamable quickly selectable music. The market wants to know the music before paying for it. The demand is there, get to work and satisfy it. All this lawsuit-circus is about forcing people to buy CDs. People want no more CDs. Is it so hard to understand?
  • by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @03:46AM (#15348971)
    but one of the loopholes in "betamax" if you will, is that when the decision was made fine grained control wasn't really possible. You published Records or Video tape, or broadcast... there wasn't this vast middle ground of Tivo, Cassette, iPod, etc. One of the key parts of the ruling was that the *IAA couldn't possibly control all those different ways of customers using the product... they are trying to establish that now they CAN have that control so eventually they'll be in court asking to get "fair rights" removed because now they can make money off "instant access" where they couldn't before.
  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @05:39AM (#15349289)
    XM might have some problems here, but it's not with normal copyright infringement. They may (or may not - I don't know XM's technology well enough) have violated the provisions of the Audio Home Recording Act [] of 1992, which specifies certain requirements for digital recorders (including royalties) and also specifically grants particular recording privileges to individuals for private noncommercial use.

    Unfortunately for the RIAA, they aren't the ones with standing to file such a suit. Various author and artist associations receive (and presumably distribute to their members) royalties enforced and collected by the US Copyright Office, and the RIAA is not among these.
  • by indifferent children ( 842621 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:14AM (#15349766)
    But if being able to store part of the broadcast is a bad thing, as said ... why didn't the RIAA sue decades ago? ... It was ruled legal decades ago to timeshift, after all, and being able to record broadcasts for later playback is nothing more than that.

    IIRC, the legal rationale behind the right to record off-the-air broadcasts was a Fair Use because the broadcasts were made over the public airwaves. Since XM is sent encrypted, and they can/do control the delivery of the content, that Fair Use provision may not apply. (which doesn't mean that the RIAA aren't a bunch of asshats)

  • Dear RIAA, (Score:4, Informative)

    by wackysootroom ( 243310 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:19AM (#15349787) Homepage
    You can only be a bully for so long before someone fights back or someone bigger than you kicks your ass.
  • Re:Finally (Score:2, Informative)

    by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:21AM (#15349796)
    It is Sirius; they bought Stern for $500 million. I imagine they are hemerraging even more moneny now that XM's Opie & Anthony took over his old slot on FM. Must kill him that they are broadcasting in his studio for the first half of the show.
  • Who's Next? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Private.Tucker ( 843252 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:42AM (#15349881)
    First off, they get no money from it? I thought you had to pay for XM. Wouldn't XM have to pay it's dues to RIAA for playing the music? So you're recording a broadcast you are paying for. So that's like DVR-ing pay-per-view?

    So RIAA and the MPAA can eventually have a lawsuit that retros pack to the beginning of the VHS/cassette era because, hell, SLP on VHS I could get 3 movies per VHS cassette and I could have an easy 2 hours of music on a music tape. Oh wait, even further back because you could record to vinyl if you had the cash for the machine.

    So now it comes to the iPod. I suppose that every device and it's makers can get sued if any of their devices can record. That means the RIAA should target companies such as Sony, Clarion, Kenwood, Philips, Toshiba, Magnavox, and Eclipse (which is family with Toyota). Yeah, good luck with that RIAA. I'm sure Sony or Toyota would give you a reach around when they're done.

    One has to think... Are they only targeting XM because XM is in a somewhat battered state right now?
  • XM + Napster (Score:2, Informative)

    by PunkPig ( 738544 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:57AM (#15349972)
    Psssst, RIAA.... XM encourages users of the Inno (and other new XM2Go models) to purchase music that they like through Napster. []
  • by edwdig ( 47888 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @09:27AM (#15350152)
    ClearChannel has 4 music stations on XM, plus some talk stations. Due to ClearChannel's recent lawsuit, they now have commercials on their stations. As such, XM has placed "cm" after the station name to indicate "Commercial Music". Also, all over ClearChannel's stations have been moved into a new category "Regional Talk, News, and Music" or something like that. XM has done everything they could to marginalize the stations.
  • by GeeBee ( 104073 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @10:28AM (#15350615) Homepage
    My understanding is that Sirius caved and ponied up to the RIAA when they brought out the S50. The RIAA is suing XM to try to get them to do the same. XM isn't caving as easily to the extortion. Not for this nor for the addtional money the RIAA is trying to extract in general as licensing renegotiation goes on.

    Some Inno ownwers think that XM should borrow language from this suit for it's advertising campaign -- it is that good.

    A few facts I've gleaned from Inno owners:

    The Inno's music can't be downloaded to your computers so it can't be shared -- it stays with the unit.

    If you cancel your XM subscription, you can no longer play the stored music.

    IANAL, but the Inno's record function appears to be totally in compliance with the Home Recording Act. Many believe that weighs heavily in favor of XM being able to win the case.

    For the record, I don't own the Inno, I have an AirWare, which can also store but not download the stored content to the computer.

    I don't know why the RIAA doesn't force everyone in the US to have little meters surgically implanted in their ears that will automatically send off whatever amount the RIAA decides the listner should be dinged each time he or she hears a piece of music. I hope they come in coordinating colors to the meters the MPAA wants to implant on our eyes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @10:55AM (#15350865)
    Guess who Owns a big stake in XM... Clear Channel.

    This is incorrect. Clear Channel owns only 3.4% of XM, that is hardly a big stake. They were part of the original ownership of XM before it went public and well before it launched. Clear Channel hedged their 8.9 million shares in a forward sales agreement 3 years ago. When they did that, XM gave them the boot and kicked them off their board. Clear Channel sued. The arbitration settlement allowed them to keep their bandwidth as part of their original agreement, as well as run advertising on those channels. However it also ruled that XM can keep them locked out of the building, which they are.

    The forward sales agreement ends in 2008, when Clear Channels delivers their shares, they will be completely pushed out the door for good.

    To say that Clear Channel owns a big stake in XM is misleading and in fact, wrong.
  • by Politburo ( 640618 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @11:48AM (#15351389)
    You are incorrect, although only in very limited circumstances. From wiki:
    In criminal and civil law, barratry is the act or practice of bringing repeated legal actions solely to harass. Usually, the actions brought lack merit. This action has been declared a crime in some jurisdictions. For example, in the U.S. state of California, barratry is a misdemeanor.
  • by Braino420 ( 896819 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @12:02PM (#15351522)
    Just think of the day when you talk to a younger person at a quiet public place, and talk about the "good old days" where it was allowed for people to listen to music. Just imagine the look on their face.

    The RIAA doesn't have the rights to all music. I strongly suggest people listen to and support groups that share their music and avoid selling out to the RIAA (read sig). However, I seriously doubt it's the Slashdot crowd buying the crap music, it's those damn kids.

    I'm not against pirating music or anything; I wouldn't feel bad no matter what terrible things happen to the RIAA and those that are a part of it. It got ridiculous a long time ago.
  • Re:Is it just me (Score:3, Informative)

    by jthill ( 303417 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:43PM (#15353866)
    There was a Supreme Court case where somebody actually tried this reasoning. I don't have enough recall of details to google it, I tried. But of course there's always the Candlmaker's Petition [].
  • by ClamIAm ( 926466 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @06:58PM (#15354800)
    XM is also sent over the public airwaves.

The other line moves faster.