XM Responds To Record Industry Suit

WASHINGTON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — XM Satellite Radio responded to a lawsuit filed by the recording industry yesterday, May 18th, by writing an open letter to subscribers defending the use of their new portable devices.

The recording industry accuses XM Satellite Radio of "massive wholesale infringement" because of a $400 iPod-like device that allows XM customers to record up to 50 hours of music and automatically parse recordings by song and artist. The "Inno" is sold under the slogan, "Hear it, click it, save it."

The full letter reads as follows:

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Statement to XM Subscribers – The XM Nation

Everything we've done at XM since our first minute on the air is about giving you more choices. We provide more channels and music programming than any other network. We play all the music you want to hear including the artists you want to hear but can't find on traditional FM radio. And we offer the best radios with the features you want for your cars, homes, and all places in between.

We've developed new radios — the Inno, Helix and NeXus — that take innovation to the next level in a totally legal way. Like TiVo, these devices give you the ability to enjoy the sports, talk and music programming whenever you want. And because they are portable, you can enjoy XM wherever you want.

The music industry wants to stop your ability to choose when and where you can listen. Their lawyers have filed a meritless lawsuit to try and stop you from enjoying these radios.

They don't get it. These devices are clearly legal. Consumers have enjoyed the right to tape off the air for their personal use for decades, from reel-to-reel and the cassette to the VCR and TiVo.

Our new radios complement download services, they don't replace them. If you want a copy of a song to transfer to other players or burn onto CDs, we make it easy for you to buy them through XM + Napster.

Satellite radio subscribers like you are law-abiding music consumers; a portion of your subscriber fee pays royalties directly to artists. Instead of going after pirates who don't pay a cent, the record labels are attacking the radios used for the enjoyment of music by consumers like you. It's misguided and wrong.

We will vigorously defend these radios and your right to enjoy them in court and before Congress, and we expect to win.

Thank you for your support.

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The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in New York by the largest labels, seeks $150,000 in damages for every song copied by XM Satellite customers using the devices, which went on sale weeks ago. The company says it plays 160,000 different songs every month.

The lawsuit does not seek directly any payments from or sanctions against XM Satellite customers who record songs. But if the lawsuit were successful, it could raise the company's costs, which could be passed on to subscribers as higher monthly fees. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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