The music business doesn’t know how to break new acts, but they’re pretty good at breaking up new media business paradigms. Via SiliconValley.com comes word that a New York judge agrees with Atlantic, Capitol, BMG and a few other companies that XM Radio’s technology allowing users to tag and save songs cheats them out of money:
In refusing to toss out the lawsuit, the judge noted that the record companies consent to XM’s use of their copyrighted material solely for the purposes of providing a digital satellite broadcasting service.
The judge agreed with the plaintiffs. I think that’s how I’ll characterize them from now on; not the music industry, the plaintiff industry. Because all they do is sue people.
XM, for their part, says they’re adhering to the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, which allows consumers to record off the radio. The XM device is akin to a cassette/radio combo player, they said. The judge didn’t agree:
“It is manifestly apparent that the use of a radio-cassette player to record songs played over free radio does not threaten the market for copyrighted works as does the use of a recorder which stores songs from private radio broadcasts on a subscription fee basis,” [Judge Batts] said.
Funny, the record labels didn’t feel that way about cassettes in the Seventies, when they successfully pushed for a tax on home recording. But these guys have never had any hindsight, 20/20 or otherwise.