Independent label rights agency Merlin has agreed to settle a long-running copyright infringement dispute with Sirius Satellite Radio for a sum of $1.6 million – which will now be shared amongst the indie music sector.
Merlin fought for the settlement with Sirius Satellite Radio over their Stiletto range and other similar recording devices, after claims were settled with the four major record labels between 2007 and 2008.
The new court-approved agreement closes a longstanding class action lawsuit. While achieving a settlement of its own members’ claims, Merlin’s decision to participate in the class action was pivotal to the achievement of the $1.6 million settlement for the entire independent record sector.
As a result, Merlin members and all other independent record labels that had their sound recordings transmitted by Sirius Satellite Radio between November 1st, 2005 and 26 August, 2011 have the opportunity to participate in the settlement.
The settlement follows a similar arrangement announced in April 2011 relating to Merlin’s role in a Class Settlement with XM Satellite Radio over XM’s Pioneer Inno recordable radio receiver and other similar recording devices.
Said Charles Caldas, Merlin CEO: “At a time where market consolidation is swallowing up more independent interests, delivering even more power into the hands of the largest major labels, adding this settlement to the growing list of litigation successes achieved by Merlin on behalf of its members is gratifying.
“Actions such as this further underline the enormous value that Merlin provides to the ever growing list of independents that have chosen to enhance their business by joining our organisation.”
Since launching in 2008, Merlin has struck deals with a large number of digital services including Spotify, YouTube, Google Music, Rdio and Simfy and reached a number of copyright infringement settlements on behalf of its members with amongst others Limewire, XM Satellite Radio and Grooveshark.
Merlin represents global independent rights for members including Warp Records, Epitaph, Naïve, Tommy Boy, One Little Indian, Yep Roc/Redeye, Kontor New Media, Beggars Group, Merge, !K7, PIAS, Domino and Koch/E1.Music Business Worldwide