Monday, December 4, 2017

Dismissal Of Radio Suit Could Bring More Money To Songwriters

Songwriters won a victory in their fight to collect more money from radio stations last week when a judge recommended the dismissal of a suit stations filed in Pennsylvania.

The state has no jurisdiction over Los Angeles-based Global Music Rights, which represents top songwriters Jon Bon Jovi, Drake and Pharrell Williams, Magistrate Judge Lynne Sitarski wrote to a federal judge.

The NYPost reports the legal fight could have consequences for radio listeners, since the songwriters group has threatened to pull music off the airwaves if stations don’t pay a higher rate to its artists.

RMLCvGMR by Eriq Gardner on Scribd

“The magistrate’s recommendation is a vindication of what we have said all along,” Irving Azoff, co-founder of GMR, said in a statement.

Azoff, manager of the Eagles and Christina Aguilera, founded GMR with fellow industry veteran Randy Grimmett to increase how much songwriters get paid by the radio business.

GMR operates out of California and argued in the Philadelphia court that there’s no logical reason the case should be heard in Pennsylvania. The RMLC countered that GMR is a national organization and Philadelphia works just fine for this lawsuit. This week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynn Sitarski sided with GMR. “I find that the assertions of Plaintiff RMLC, even if viewed as true, do not establish personal jurisdiction over GMR in the forum state, Pennsylvania or venue in this judicial district.”

In a statement Thursday night, Azoff said “The Magistrate’s recommendation is a vindication of what we have said all along: the RMLC had no business filing a lawsuit in Pennsylvania, a state that has nothing to do with this dispute. We look forward to Judge Jones’ review of the order and continuing our efforts to protect the rights of songwriters to be paid fairly by the $18 billion commercial radio industry.”

The RMLC plans to appeal, according to RadioInk.

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