GMR Sues Stations for Copyright Infringement

As you know, GMR has drawn away some artists from BMI and ASCAP. Stations playing these artists may be liable to GMR for copyright fees. Noted communications attorney David Oxenford has reported on recent litigation commenced by GRM against some stations. He states:

“Global Music Rights (GMR) has sued three radio groups for not paying royalties for the public performance of songs written by songwriters who are now represented by GMR. GMR is a performing rights organization (a ‘PRO’) representing songwriters including Bruce Springsteen, Bruno Mars, Drake, Pharrell Williams, John Lennon, and The Eagles. As these songwriters are no longer represented by ASCAP, BMI or SESAC, for a broadcaster to publicly perform any of these songwriters’ music, they generally either need a license from GMR or they need to directly license the music from the songwriters or their agents. The lawsuits seek $150,000 for each copyrighted work that was allegedly infringed – the maximum set out by the Copyright Act for ‘statutory damages,’ i.e., damages that can be collected even without providing evidence of actual harm caused by the alleged copyright infringement. Commercial radio stations that play GMR music and have not entered into an agreement with GMR following the settlement earlier this year of its litigation with the Radio Music License Committee should enter into a license or consult with their attorneys to see if there is any way to otherwise receive permission to use GMR music.”

We urge stations to carefully examine their playlists to avoid potential litigation. A full list of songwriters now represented by GMR can be found here.

See a full discussion of potential copyright liability and the status of the law by noted communications Attorney David Oxenford here.

Additional information regarding GMR can be found on the Radio Music Licensing Committee’s website.