Sirius XM Settles Lawsuit with Indie Labels for $3.6 Million

Sirius XM Settles Lawsuit with Indie Labels for $3.6 Million
Back in 2009, we reported that Sirius XM radio was on the verge of bankruptcy. The satellite radio service managed to avoid going under thanks to an investment from Liberty Media, but now Sirius XM is facing another financial hurdle. This time, it comes in the form of a $3.6 million settlement with Merlin, a non-profit organization representing independent labels, distributors and rights holders.

The organization, which includes members such as Epitaph, Beggars Group, Warp, Saddle Creek and Domino, sued XM Satellite Radio over copyright issues regarding devices that allow listeners to record and replay broadcasts. Receivers like the Pioneer Inno allow XM subscribers to save and play back songs from satellite radio, and can even be used to record individual songs. This settlement concerned music transmitted between 2006 and 2010.

As Digital Wire Media points out, XM was faced with similar suits from major labels and settled back in 2007 and 2008.

"This is an important settlement, not just for Merlin's members, but also, I am pleased to say, for the independent community at large," said Merlin CEO Charles Caldas. "This announcement underlines the value that Merlin has brought to its members by creating a body that ensures that they, and not just the major labels, have the opportunity to benefit from settlements such as this one."

Of course, with the way internet downloading is going these days, listeners don't need devices like the Pioneer Inno to bootleg music. Still, this is one small victory for the struggling record industry.