In response to a SiriusXM lawsuit that alleges antitrust behavior by SoundExchange and A2IM, SoundExchange has issued a statement after reviewing the complaint. The lawsuit was filed March 27 in U.S. Federal Court in the Southern District of New York.
"The allegations that SoundExchange committed any wrongdoing are entirely false," the statement says. "We are proud of what we do as an organization and we remain committed to making sure recording artists and record labels receive the compensation they deserve."
SiriusXM has been trying to get labels to direct license master recordings for 5% to 7%, which is less than the 8% statutory rate for 2012. In the ongoing Copyright Royalty Board negotiations aimed at setting digital royalty rates for the next five years beginning in 2013, copyright owners are trying to at least get the 13% rate they almost achieved last time rates were set for satellite radio.
Meanwhile, in anticipation of that kind of rate request in the upcoming rate court proceedings, SiriusXM began direct licensing negotiations in an apparent attempt to not only score a lower rate, but also to establish that, some indie labels suspect, as the market rate to the CRB judges who will be presiding over atrial to determine that three weeks from now.
In its comment, SoundExchange addressed that issue: "It should not go unnoticed that SiriusXM chose to file this meritless complaint less than three weeks before our trial is set to begin before the Copyright Royalty Judges -- the trial in which SiriusXM is advocating for a decrease in digital performance rates that it pays creators of music, despite its unprecedented financial success and annual revenues in the billions of dollars," the organization said.
Previously, SoundExchange had issued a comment that labeled the complaint meritless but that was based on press reports. At the time, the organization hadn't yet seen see the complaint, which wasn't filed until late in the day on March 27.
A SiriusXM spokesperson couldn't be reached at deadline to comment on SoundExchange's most recent statement.