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Music Labels Sue XM Over its Inno/Helix Recording Capabilities

Categories: BigMedia v NewTechCases

Text of Music Industry Complaint
The RIAA, in a law suit filed this week in federal court in New York, seeks a $150,000 in damages for every song that may have been copied by XM listeners, claiming that devices such as XM’s new Pioneer Inno and the Samsung Helix violate copyrights. Despite the fact that recording from the radio has always been considered fair use in the U.S., and the fact that music cannot be extracted from XM’s recording devices, the music industry believes that the quality of satellite radio makes it a “free iTunes” of sorts. Michael Petricone, vice president of government affairs at the Consumer Electronics Association, said that the RIAA is trying to block an activity that “has always been considered legal” and expressly recognized by Congress as “protected from lawsuit.” The music industry fails to mention in its complaint that home recording of music is permitted under the Audio Home Recording Act (1992). That legislation allows consumers to digitally record music from CDs and broadcast transmissions for personal use, but prevents making digital copies from copies. “Sirius radio is not named in the suit because it had previously negotiated a deal with the RIAA for devices like the Inno and the Helix.

Sources: ars technica | EFF | L.A. Timers | Red Herring | HRRC.org | PC Magazine (Reuters) | Billboard | The Register | MTV | Forbes | PC World (IDG) | Washington Post | MP3.com | BBC | Engadget | Tech News World | TechWeb | Digital Life | Sci-Tech Today | Digital Music News

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