Justice Dept. Sides With Irving Azoff In Global Music Rights Lawsuit Against Radio
In a victory for songwriters, the U.S. Department of Justice weighed in earlier this week on behalf of Global Music Rights (GMR), the Iriving Azoff led performing rights organization, in its lawsuit against the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC).
The RMLC has been the vehicle that the radio industry has used to determine the payout that songwriters receive for radio play. GMR filed suit against the RMLC in 2016.
In a starkly worded filing, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division urged a federal court to reject RMLC’s attempts to misconstrue the laws that prohibit illegal price-fixing across the radio industry, stating that “Competitors’ naked agreements to fix prices, are one of the most pernicious forms of anticompetitive restraints that violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act.”
“The court filing by the Department of Justice reaffirms the legal position of GMR and vindicates the rights of artists and songwriters to be free from illegal price-fixing by radio stations,” said Daniel Petrocelli, lead counsel for Global Music Rights.
“Today is a great day for artists, who have been bullied by the RMLC since the dawn of the modern radio industry,” added GMR founder Irving Azoff. “Advocating on behalf of artists is our founding principle, and we refused to allow this unfair status quo to continue. We believe the days of this brazen, long-running cartel are now numbered. GMR has never been prouder to stand with songwriters to fight back.”
Founded in 2013, GMR represents songs written by a small roster of popular songwriters including Drake, Bruce Springsteen, Bruno Mars, The Eagles and Smokey Robinson.