Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights has agreed to a temporary settlement with a group representing 10,000 radio stations. The legal cease-fire allows members of the Radio Music License Committee to continue playing compositions of the artists represented by Azoff’s group through Sept. 30, 2017. In exchange, the RMLC has agreed to drop an injunction request against Global Music Rights.
The deal gives both sides some breathing room in the ongoing legal drama that’s morphed into dueling Federal lawsuits in California. Radio stations had been up against a Dec. 31 deadline to strike a deal or face potential copyright infringement lawsuits from GMR. The two sides are suing each other in separate federal lawsuits after negotiations for a new licensing agreement fell apart in November.
Today’s Christmas Eve deal “gives everyone additional time to negotiate long-term licenses,” a statement from GMR’s lawyer Daniel Petrocelli reads.
GMR claims it had made the same offer to the radio station group in December, “but the RMLC refused it and, instead, chose to sue and seek an injunction.”
“With today’s agreement, the RMLC has withdrawn its request for an injunction and radio stations across the country will have the opportunity to offer their listeners GMR’s quality music.”
The RLMC informed its members of the temporary settlement in a letter (read it here), writing “as a result of further discussions between the RMLC and GMR, GMR will make available to radio stations an interim license. This interim license will provide stations that choose to accept it the ability to perform GMR compositions during the term of the interim license.”
The amount each station will pay varies and financial terms of the temporary settlement were not released. The RMLC told the stations it represents that they have until “January 31, 2017 to sign the interim license agreement and pay GMR according to its terms.”
“The license fee is an interim one; that means GMR and you each retains the right to seek a retroactive fee adjustment in future licenses or as a result of the current litigations.”
Both sides had been in talks over a license for 2017, but the radio group complained that Azoff was demanding too much money and filed a lawsuit, accusing GMR of being monopolistic with its catalog, which includes compositions by some of the world’s biggest artists like The Beatles, Beyonce, John Legend, The Eagles and Weird Al Yankovic.
Azoff responded by hiring Donald Trump’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli and counter-suing the RMLC , accusing the group of operating a “cartel” because of its refusal to allow Azoff to individually negotiate with stations represented by the group.
On Dec. 16, metal-thrash band Anthrax sent Azoff a public letter, asking that its name be removed from a list of GMR artists because the band had only recorded one song licensed by GMR, a cover of Metallica’s “Phantom Lord.” Azoff responded with a tweet, telling the band they should have called him before going public.
— Irving Azoff (@irvingazoff) December 17, 2016