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Recording industry sues XM radio over Inno digital recording device

UPI News Service, 05/17/2006 

The Recording Industry Association of America has filed suit in New York federal court charging XM Satellite radio with copyright violations.

The suit, filed Tuesday, revolves around XM's new $400 Inno device, which lets subscribers digitally record 50 hours of music from any of the network's 170 channels, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

XM pays record labels a small performance rights fee, but the RIAA says XM has become a music distributor with the Inno and should pay higher fees charged to Apple's iTunes store, the Times said.

"XM wants to offer listeners what is essentially a free version of iTunes without paying the music companies for the right to sell their songs," RIAA Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol said. "It's a great deal for XM because it drives subscriptions. But it's fundamentally unfair to songwriters and labels and threatens to puncture the integrity of the digital music marketplace right as it is growing."

The plaintiffs in the suit -- Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Group -- are seeking $150,000 for each song recorded by XM subscribers.

XM released a statement saying it would fight the lawsuit.

Several thousand of XM's 6.5 million subscribers have purchased the Inno since its launch last month, the Times said.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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