SoundExchange, a non-profit organisation for collecting digital royalties for music artists has sued Sirius XM Radio for at least $50 million for underpaying on recordings, including ones from before 1972.
The lawsuit is filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia and claims from 2007 to 2012, Sirius XM “systematically” underpaid SoundExchange for the statutory license that allows the service to air recordings to its millions of paying subscribers.
The lawsuit said Sirius in particular reduced by 10 per cent to 15 per cent the gross revenues it reports to calculate the royalties because that corresponded with performances of pre-1972 recordings.
The royalty rate that would be charged against those gross revenues ranged from 6 per cent in 2007 to 8 per cent in 2012, according to SoundExchange, which was established by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Sirius XM did not comment.