The Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) and Irving Azoff’s performance rights society Global Music Rights (GMR) appear to be headed to court after a federal judge in California refused motions to dismiss competing anti-trust lawsuits brought by the two organizations.
The two competing lawsuits stem from a 2016 legal action brought by GMR against RMLC, claiming the organization, which purports to negotiate with performance rights organizations on behalf of radio stations, amounts to a cartel that controls 90% of the radio industry revenue while reaching more than 245 million listeners weekly.
“GMR has consistently maintained that members of the RMLC illegally collude with one another to suppress rates paid to songwriters and composers for the public performance of their work,” said GMR in a 2016 press release announcing the lawsuit.
Judge Hatter, who is presiding over the suits, also ruled that the RMLC may not seek monetary damages from GMR as they are purportedly a non-profit organization, setting aside the RLMC’s argument that it does not actually seek restitution or disgorgement of profits, but rather a method to help it obtain monetary relief, if applicable.
Following news of the dismissal, both litigants quickly filed protective orders that seek to prevent potentially sensitive information from being disclosed in the trial.
Notably, both parties asked that the protective order be applied to both of the ongoing court cases between the two parties.