XM Radio & Universal Settle Infringement Suit
XM Satellite Radio has settled a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Universal Music back in 2006. The suit was launched by Universal when XM released its portable Inno digital music player, which can store and record music from satellite radio.
Major music labels including Vivendi’s Universal, Warner Music Group Corp, EMI Group Plc and Sony BMG sued XM in May 2006, saying the Inno infringes copyrights and transforms a passive radio experience into the equivalent of a digital download service like Apple Inc’s iTunes.
XM said on Monday it has reached a multiyear deal with Universal, which will withdraw from the complaint. It said the pact covers all XM radios with advanced recording functions, including future products. XM did not give financial terms. “We look forward to continuing our discussions with the other music companies in hopes of arriving at a resolution that benefits everyone, especially consumers,” XM said in a statement.
Warner Music is reportedly in talks with XM to try to settle the dispute. The original lawsuit, filed in New York federal court, had accused XM Satellite of “massive wholesale infringement” and sought $150,000 in damages for every song copied by XM customers using the Inno, which went on sale last year.
XM had argued that the Inno, which is manufactured by Pioneer, is a legal device that lets consumers listen to and record radio as the law has allowed for decades.