Radio License Committee要司法部在與Irving Azoff的歌曲作者付款爭端中閃邊去
◎美國司法部(DOJ)與超級經紀人（Irving Azoff）的表演權組織-「Global Music Rights（GMR）」同一陣線，他們與廣播音樂授權委員會「Radio Music License Committee (RMLC)」爭執廣播電台欠詞曲作者多少錢。現在，(RMLC)本質上是在向美國司法部發出警告。
◎Azoff於2013年創立(GMR)，其主要目的是顛覆廣播電台與表演權組織（PRO）進行談判的方式。它旗下有82位強大的詞曲作者，包括：(Drake)、(Ryan Tedder)和(Pharrell Williams)。 (GMR)已為(RMLC)廣播電台設置了臨時許可證，這些許可證合計佔廣播收入的90％。
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice sided with super-manager Irving Azoff's performing rights organization, Global Music Rights (GMR), in a battle with the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) over how much money radio stations owe songwriters.
Now, the RMLC is essentially telling the DOJ to buzz off.
In court documents filed Dec. 18 and reviewed by Billboard, the RMLC claims that there's no reason for the DOJ to take special interest in the case, and finds its decision to weigh in three months after the briefing closed, and with no advance notice, "puzzling."
The RMLC argues that the DOJ asked the court to reject arguments that it has not actually made, and that thus, the department's statement "has nothing to do" with the facts at hand.
"In a departure from previous administrations, the current leadership of the Antitrust Division has adopted a practice of offering its views on how district courts should address antitrust issues in private cases before them," attorneys for the RMLC write. "There is nothing unique or difficult about that exercise that requires the court to consider the unsolicited views of a federal agency. And the Court does not owe any deference to the Division’s views on either the law or its application to the facts here."
In addition, the RMLC pushes back on the DOJ's argument that mediation by a third party wouldn't solve the dispute between GMR and the RMLC, noting that in September, the department agreed to use arbitration to challenge a merger for the first time in history.
"The Division seems to ask this Court to be the first one in history to condemn as per se unlawful a proposal to use arbitration to avoid protracted antitrust litigation in federal court," the document reads. "But surely that cannot be this Division’s position. A mere two months ago, it publicly lauded its own 'groundbreaking' decision to start using arbitration in lieu of litigation precisely because arbitration is so much more efficient."
A spokesperson for the DOJ declined to comment. Over email, GMR's lead counsel Daniel Petrocelli shared that "We’re not surprised that an unlawful radio cartel would object to the Department of Justice’s views on important antitrust issues before the Court. But it’s the federal court, not the RMLC, who will decide these issues. In the meantime, Global Music Rights will continue its fight to protect the interests of songwriters and artists from the RMLC’s collusive actions.”
The RMLC's rebuttal is the latest development in a legal battle that stretches back to 2016. After failing to come to an agreement on how much radio stations should pay GMR for licenses to play its music, GMR sued RMLC that year, calling it a "cartel" with a price-fixing conspiracy. RMLC responded with a countersuit, alleging the same thing. Now, each side is trying to get the other's lawsuit dismissed.
Azoff founded GMR in 2013, specifically with the intention to upend the way that radio stations negotiatiate with performing rights organizations (PROs). Its roster includes 82 powerful songwriters, including Drake, Ryan Tedder and Pharrell Williams.
A trial date is set for November 2020. Meanwhile, GMR has set up interim licenses for RMLC radio stations, which together represent 90% of the country's terrestrial radio revenue.