updated 04:35 pm EST, Mon December 17, 2007
Universal, XM settle suit
Universal Music and XM Radio have settled a lawsuit over a piece of third-party hardware, reports say. The item of contention was Pioneer's Inno player, which is able to record XM broadcasts in addition to playing MP3s; the problem is that it can naturally record Universal artists without permission, something the record label objected to. Under the terms of the settlement, Universal will be the first company signed to a multi-year agreement covering all XM radios with "advanced recording functionality," potentially opening the door to safe recording on many other devices.
Universal has also agreed to withdraw from an RIAA lawsuit against XM, originally filed in May of 2006. The RIAA is demanding $150,000 for each song downloaded by the Inno, a tally which could cripple XM financially even as it attempts to complete its merger with Sirius. With Universal gone, the RIAA may find pursuing its case more difficult; Universal is one of the largest parties in the RIAA, responsible for approximately a third of music published worldwide. [via Orbitcast]