Irving Azoff’s PRO, Global Music Rights, settles two copyright infringement lawsuits in the US

Irving Azoff

Global Music Rights (GMR), a performing rights society founded by industry veteran Irving Azoff, settled a copyright infringement lawsuit it filed against terrestrial radio companies Red Wolf Broadcasting Corp. and One Putt Broadcasting.

GMR sued three US radio companies, including the two named above nearly four months ago, accusing them of failing to secure licenses covering its songs.

Founded in 2013 by Azoff, GMR represents a roster of over 100 songwriters including Bruce Springsteen, Bruno Mars, Drake, Pharrell Williams, John Lennon, and The Eagles.

The company licenses the public performances of these artists’ copyrighted music. 

Last year, GMR settled a long-running legal dispute with Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) after suing the latter in 2016 over what it described as the unfair payment of songwriters. 

The settlement saw a majority of commercial radio stations under RMLC entering licenses with GMR. Stations without a license were no longer allowed to publicly perform songs within the GMR repertory. 

Eight months later, GMR sued Red Wolf, One Putt and Southern Stone Communications over copyright infringement.

In the first of the two complaints, which you can read in full here, and here, respectively, GMR said that since at least 2017, Red Wolf and One Putt’s stations “have performed GMR compositions without obtaining a license in violation of copyright laws.”

GMR sued Red Wolf at the US District Court of Connecticut, and One Putt at the Eastern District Court of California.

Over the span of five years, GMR said it submitted 10 separate written license offers for Red Wolf and One Putt stations to legally play songs covered by GMR. However, Red Wolf allegedly turned down all those offers and refused to pay GMR any license fees since January 2017 to October 2022.

The radio stations “made the strategic decision not to pay GMR for these uses and hoped to get away with it,” GMR added at the time.

GMC sought maximum statutory damages of $150,000 for each copyright infringed, and a portion of the radio stations’ profits derived from the performance of the songs.

But most recently on Friday (January 20), GMR said it reached an agreement with Red Wolf and One Putt to settle the lawsuits, without disclosing whether the settlements included financial terms.

“We are dedicated to protecting the rights of GMR songwriters and composers, and ensuring entities publicly performing their works are appropriately licensed.”

Emio Zizza, GMR’s General Counsel

GMR said both radio stations agreed to enter into long-term licenses as part of the settlements.

Commenting on the settlement with Red Wolf, GMR’s General Counsel, Emio Zizza, said: “We are dedicated to protecting the rights of GMR songwriters and composers, and ensuring entities publicly performing their works are appropriately licensed.

“Through this lawsuit, we have accomplished those endeavors, and look forward to our go-forward licensing relationship with Red Wolf.”

Music Business Worldwide

Related Posts