GMR Files To Dismiss RMLC’s Anti-Trust Lawsuit

Global Music Rights filed a motion on Jan. 20 to dismiss the Radio Music Licensing Committee’s (RMLC) anti-trust lawsuit against the performing rights organization, according to a report by Billboard.

Within the filing, GMR notes the Pennsylvania court the RMLC filed with last November lacks personal jurisdiction and is an improper forum in which to adjudicate the dispute; and notes that the RMLC complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, according to the news agency.

Billboard‘s report continues, citing court documents: “If the Pennsylvania case is not going to be dismissed and must be adjudicated, the latest filing states that the case should be in the U.S. Central District of California Court because that’s where GMR is located and the only licensing negotiations that happened in person occurred there; and RMLC also has twice has many member radio stations in California than it does in Pennsylvania.”

After the RMLC’s anti-trust filing, GMR responded by filing its own before offering a temporary license through Sept. 30, 2017, however Billboard notes there is ongoing contention about RMLC’s involvement with the interim license and its cost, said to total $2.5 million per month.

Billboard‘s Ed Christman notes GMR sought a combined $42 million for the 10,000 RMLC stations (90 percent of U.S. Terrestrial radio revenue) to license its music for a year, according to the initial lawsuit. Christman goes on to note negotiations continued with RMLC’s “one-year deal that would pay out about $27 million, or $2.25 million per month from the stations…GMR made a counter proposal of $30 million, or $2.5 million a month, which the RMLC rejected and then filed the lawsuit.”

All this after initial negotiations broke down between the two parties before the November filing prior to the end of 2016, when the RMLC’s radio license was set to expire for GMR’s 73-represented songwriters works, which are said to total between 5-7.5 percent of all radio play.

Founded by Irving Azoff in 2013 and headed by former ASCAP executive Randy Grimmett, GMR represents Nashville writers Shane McAnally, Luke Laird and Paul Overstreet. The PRO is represented by O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Harkins Cunningham LLP.

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