Monday, July 24, 2017

RMLC Seeks Injunction Against GMR

The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) has filed what is calls an important motion to protect commercial radio stations across the nation potentially, and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania specifically, against actions by Global Music Rights.

The RMLC filed an antitrust lawsuit in the federal court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania late last year against GMR, a for‐profit music licensing organization, based on GMR’s attempt to require commercial radio stations to pay prices for music performance licenses that are unfairly high and anticompetitive.

GMR recently issued a statement on its web site that it would not “…negotiate or enter licenses with stations owned by companies headquartered or based in Pennsylvania.”  GMR has now made clear that it will maintain this position unless these stations and the RMLC relinquish important legal rights against GMR.  Although GMR is currently targeting these Pennsylvania‐based entities, the RMLC is acutely aware that GMR could broaden its target to stations in any of, or all of, the 50 states.  So while the RMLC, at this moment, remains primarily concerned with “…stations owned by companies headquartered or based in Pennsylvania,” the RMLC’s true concern is with regard to all radio companies and stations throughout the United States.

To this end, the RMLC has asked the federal court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to enter a preliminary injunction order preventing GMR from engaging in these overtly coercive actions while the RMLC’s lawsuit proceeds.  Further, the RMLC’s motion requests that the court order GMR to continue to offer interim music performance licenses, to those radio stations who elect to take one, on identical terms to those interim licenses already in effect for the past several months.  That relief would prevent GMR from further inordinate pressure on the radio industry while the federal court resolves the RMLC’s antitrust claims against GMR.

Litigation is never the RMLC’s first choice.  This motion has been filed, not only to immediately protect radio stations owned by companies headquartered or based in Pennsylvania, but also to protect all stations in the United States, knowing that any State or group of stations might be GMR’s next target.

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