The back and forth between fitness company Peloton and a coalition of American music publishers continues. The latter have submitted another legal filing insisting that they have not behaved in an anti-competitive way by coming together to sue the Peloton business for copyright infringement.
More than a dozen independent publishers sued Peloton earlier this year accusing it of making use of their songs without licence. Peloton makes fitness machines that come with screens via which users can access workout videos. The lawsuit alleged that some of those videos contained unlicensed music controlled by the plaintiffs.
Peloton then countersued in April, mainly on competition law grounds. It alleged that it had previously had good relationships with most of the publishers involved in the legal dispute and was negotiating licensing deals with many of them. Those relationships only fell apart, it then claimed, because of interference by America’s National Music Publishers Association.
For Immediate Release: August 4, 2016
Media Contact: Charlotte Sellmyer
Washington, D.C. – NMPA President & CEO David Israelite today released the following statement in response to the Department of Justice’s decision regarding the ASCAP and BMI consent decree review.
“The Department of Justice (DoJ) has dealt a massive blow to America’s songwriters. After a two year review of the consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI, career lawyers who were never elected nor confirmed to their positions, led by a lawyer who previously represented Google, determined that songwriters should have even fewer rights, less control over their intellectual property and be treated more unfairly than they already are. The Department ignored the voices of copyright experts, members of Congress and thousands of songwriters and delivered a huge gift to tech companies who already benefit from egregiously low rates.
“The interpretation that the consent decrees demand that all works must be licensed on a 100 percent basis is both unprecedented and disastrous to the songwriting community. The decision represents a misunderstanding of copyright law and directly violates the legal guidance given by the Register of Copyright. The defiance displayed by these career antitrust lawyers in ignoring the legal opinion of the Register of Copyright is shocking.
“Washington bureaucrats should not be in the business of regulating music as they are neither capable of understanding or fixing the problems they’ve created. We are hopeful that through the legal process, conversations with those in Congress who understand copyright law, and ultimately the voices of those most affected, the creators themselves, we can find a path forward.”
About the NMPA: Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing all American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights. Learn more at www.nmpa.org.