RMLC’s anti-trust suit against GMR dismissed in Pennsylvania

January 2018

Broadcasting, music publishing


A federal magistrate judge has recommended that a lawsuit filed by the Radio Music License Committee against Global Music Rights should be dismissed, concluding it was improperly filed in the state of Pennsylvania.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne Sitarski of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rejected arguments advanced by RMLC for filing the antitrust suit in Pennsylvania, a state where neither the plaintoff or the defendant had offices or employees, where no relevant songwriters or publishers live, and where no relevant meetings or business have ever taken place.

Magistrate Judge Sitarski stated “There is no basis in fact or law to assert personal jurisdiction over GMR in Pennsylvania and therefore, venue in this judicial district is improper” concluding that the RMLC suit was filed in Pennsylvania solely for tactical advantage.

Magistrate Judge Sitarski recognized that Global Music Rights’ home state is California, where the company has filed its own antitrust suit alleging that the RMLC’s 10,000 member stations are conspiring to suppress payments to Global Music Rights’ songwriters.

Global Music Rights describes itself as a music rights management company focused on licensing, surveying and distributing public performance royalties to songwriters, composers and publishers who “represent today’s greatest and most popular music creators in the public performance licensing of their cataloges”. It is the newest and smallest of the four US music collection societies alongside BMI, ASCAP and SESAC but has some impressive clients, including Adele, Bruno Mars, Drake, The Eagles and Pharrell Williams. The Radio Music License Committee represents the interests of the commercial radio industry (some 10,000 commercial radio stations) on music licensing matters. It is a Tennessee ‘not for profit’ corporation based in Nashville.








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