US satellite radio firm XM is being sued by record labels over a gadget that lets listeners record songs. The recording industry said XM’s Inno device, which stores music and divides it into tracks, infringes copyright.

The lawsuit seeks $150,000 (£79,537) in damages for every song copied by XM customers to an Inno gadget.

These sleazeballs never let up, do they?

XM said it would defend itself vigorously against the legal action.

It added that the Inno does not let people download music on demand like iTunes and only lets listeners record radio shows as the law has allowed for “decades”.

Let’s face it. The RIAA never accepted Fair Use and never will. Understand that there is NO part of government, right now, which feels it is chartered to be on the side of ordinary consumers.

  1. gquaglia says:

    “Understand that there is NO part of government, right now, which feels it is chartered to be on the side of ordinary consumers.”

    Not when the RIAA’s lobbists are pumping thousands into these shitheads re-election warchests. That combined with a lack on knowledge when it comes to tech in general and you have a “F” the consumer atmosphere on the hill.

  2. Carl Trimble says:

    Didn’t they just get done settling with Sirius for the same thing? RIAA GO SKREW YERSELVES!

  3. calee says:

    As much as this frustrates me, I’m not sure an end is really in sight. Consumers are going to keep consuming, the RIAA will continue to make it as difficult as possible. Is there anything that can really stop the stalemate?

  4. Emery says:

    The little guy always loses. I don’t trade music… but I don’t want anyone telling me how to listen or how to backup my music in the privacy of my own home.

    There is also a crazy law proposed in Congress that would ban streaming anything in MP3 format. It forces people to use Real or another licensed format.

    That means I can’t stream my own content via MP3.

    It hasn;t made it’s way through committee yet, but it’s absurd that a law like that can even be proposed.

  5. Jason says:

    The satcaster have been getting away with paying lesser royalties than almost everyone for a long time. Now they want to let you record, store songs, and manage playlists and still not pay for it?

    Every other subscription download service or even CD sellers pays a more royalties per song, but the satcasters feel they should be able to do it for free. I hate the RIAA as much as the next guy, but I think they’re right here. XM wants to charge listeners to hear a song, pay a small royalty to the artist for that, but then give the music away for nothing. I can see why an industry that loses a billion dollars every year would want to save money, but they have to be fair about paying artists.

  6. Darden says:

    Perhaps the RIAA has finally snapped at somebody that can bite back. Suing grandmas over the indigressions of their grandkids is no fun to watch. XM getting sued, now that might bring some blood. Sic ’em!

  7. Don says:

    I’m not sure if congress is in the pocket of the RIAA or whether they’re just breathtakingly stupid when it comes to tech issues. If the former, we should all get on the public funding of elections bandwagon. If the latter, eventually all these geezers will retire or die and be replaced with younger, hipper people. Of course, by then the damage will have been done.

  8. Mike Voice says:

    From the article: “XM’s rival Sirius Satellite Radio recently agreed to pay the RIAA licence fees for its S50 recording device.”

    There you go. Once somebody caves, the rest have a harder time.

    Like it or not, the market-price [via iTMS] is 99-cents per song. How do “damages” get inflated to $150,000 per song??? Aren’t punative damages normally 3x monetary damages, not 150,000x…

    I would love to see the lawsuit filed as: $1per-song monetary damage, and $3-per-song punative damages.

    And who would the money go to? The artists? … yeah, right!

    From the article: “The lawsuit seeks $150,000 (£79,537) in damages for every song copied by XM customers to an Inno gadget.”

    Is this like TIVO, where they can tell what people are recording, replaying, skipping, etc? If not, how would this be determined? – RIAA “estimates”…???

    #5: “The satcaster have been getting away with paying lesser royalties than almost everyone for a long time.”

    Who’s fault is that, satcaster or RIAA?? Why did RIAA sign-off on letting them pay lesser royalties than “almost everyone”?

    From the article: “The RIAA and XM are currently re-negotiating royalty contracts for radio broadcasts”.

    Ahh, it all becomes clear. 🙂
    Playing hardball during “negotiations”…

  9. Kevin says:

    When I was a kid, I had a modestly sized GE boom box, with a cassette recorder.

    I would eagerly wait for the daily Top 10 show to some on, then sat with my finger tensely hovered over “Rec”.

    Eventually the magical moment would arrive… I think I got Mr. Roboto on the one side of that cassette about seven times! Heaven on earth!

    My best friend and I listened to that tape constantly on my enormous Walkman on the trip from Houston to DisneyWorld.

    It’s frightening now to think how what could have happened if I got caught in these illicit activities. I mean, not only was I recording the stuff, but distributing it too! Hopefully the statute of limitations has run out.

  10. Rick says:

    See Jeff Jarvis excellent analysis of the market and why the current media owners seem blind.

  11. Re: 4

    I assume it doesn’t just target MP3? There are a ton of alternative streaming formats out there… including my personal favorite, Ogg Vorbis. Supported by WinAmp and every Linux player in Existence, and perfectly good for streaming.

  12. raddad says:

    I’ve said it before, it should be unlawful for any corporation or group to make political contributions. And personal contributions should be severely limited in amount. It’s too difficult to distinguish between a contribution and a bribe. If that makes for fewer reelection advertisements, all the better.

    As for the RIAA, they have killed the music industry for my interests. There have been only a handful of interesting songs in the last few years.

  13. Jason says:

    #6 Don’t be so sure. XM will settle with them. They do not have the wherewithall to fight the RIAA. That’s why Sirius caved so quick. If your company is losing a half a billion dollars every year, how can you convince your already ancy shareholders that it’s worth taking on the RIAA, whose pockets seem to go very deep, in a very expensive lawsuit that you’re likely to lose?

    If you are going to allow people to record specific songs and store them(how that is different than downloading I have no idea) how is the court going to rule that you don’t have to pay artists for that? This is the wrong company and the wrong fight.

  14. John Wofford says:

    I guess I was getting away with some serious crime way back when I’d just stick a couple of mics in front of a set of stereo speakers and record a few hours of stuff on a big assed reel to reel. If there was anything on the radio worth recording there are many ways to drag analog signals into a a/d converter then do what you will with them.

  15. Bruce IV says:

    Yeah … I remember back in the day there was this thing called the tape recorder – it would make a low quality copy of a low quality broadcast – seems reasonable that you should be able to make a high quality copy of a high quality broadcast – that would be the difference with downloading – I expect you have to wait for the song to come on to record it.

  16. joe says:

    wow jason dont they have you deep in their pockets,
    or talk about misinformed ! those devices dont upload,
    they down load . if youre not technically savy, that means
    that they cant “pirate it” dee dee deeeee.they only record not
    copy, aside from that , if you want more songs they are
    teamed up to napster to sell you the whole cd if you like just
    like i tune yes thats a dollar per song. wow!talk about misinformed
    this would probably make more buisness for the artists than a.)
    being pirated
    and b .) not selling anything because they just have one good song
    on the cd and the rest is junk if you buy the song you should be able
    to use it in any way you like o.k. may be not mass producing it but i should be able to
    have it in my ipod and computer with no fear of being sued . and my last argument is this
    i figure all the artists have more the enough “bling” porsches, mansions,
    unlimited shopping sprees at versace to suit them well have you
    seen jessica simpson spend
    ?!?!?! nick should have divoreced her earlier !!! either ways we shouldnt be paying
    for their extremly poor finiancial (and possible drug and alchohol) habits
    there is one piece of tech that overides all their security and thats
    the cassette tape
    ……… unless they sue us for that too !!!

  17. Brad says:

    “I’m not sure if congress is in the pocket of the RIAA or whether they’re just breathtakingly stupid when it comes to tech issues.”

    Why can’t it be both?


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