Pro Music Rights (PMR), the Florida-based royalty collection firm, hit headlines earlier this year for suing “the entire music industry” over what it alleged was a potential “conspiracy to shut PMR out of the market and to fix prices at infracompetitive levels”.
What does the “entire music industry” in this context look like? It’s basically every Stateside digital service provider you can think of.
Here’s the (long!) list of defendants in PMR’s case:
In recent weeks, there’s been some interesting developments in the suit.
On July 2, PMR and Napster owner Rhapsody jointly filed a notice at the US District Court in Connecticut, stating that the two parties had agreed that PMR’s action against Rhapsody should be dismissed “with prejudice”.
On July 8, a near-identical filing came from iHeartMedia and PMR, followed, on July 10, by another filing that indicated an agreed dismissal (again, “with prejudice”) between PMR and UK-based 7Digital.
Most recently, on Monday (July 27), another agreed dismissal (again, “with prejudice”) was filed by the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC), following the same wording as the others. (You can read each filing through the relevant links here.)
As noted by Bloomberg Law, the fact all of these dismissals have been made “with prejudice” is significant, as it suggests that each party has been settling out of court with PMR. (It also means the suit can’t be refiled against the defendants in each case.)
One noteworthy nugget: MBW has been digging around on the RMLC’s website, and can see that – seemingly subsequent to this settlement – Pro Music Rights has been quietly added to the list of organizations that the body recognizes as ‘Music Licensing Organizations” in the Americas.
Parties still active as defendants in the lawsuit include Apple, Google/YouTube, Spotify and SoundCloud.
In a separate lawsuit, the founder of Pro Music Rights, Jake Noch, is in an ongoing legal skirmish with Spotify.
Another of Noch’s businesses, Florida-based independent music company Sosa Entertainment LLC, sued Spotify towards the end of last year, claiming, amongst other things, that Spotify has not paid Sosa full royalties associated with over 550 million streams.
Spotify launched a countersuit in May, claiming that its fraud-monitoring team found “unmistakable signs that the streams of Noch and Sosa’s content had been artificially inflated”.
In June, Sosa asked a federal Judge to dismiss Spotify’s countersuit, calling the streaming company’s action “procedurally defective” and “legally deficient”.Music Business Worldwide