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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Chrysler sued for royalties by music industry

Chrysler sued for royalties by music industry, Automotive News reports (a few weeks ago, now) - in the US, that is, not here,and it's not the first time that a car manufacturer has been sued though no cases appear to have reached court yet. The argument is that the hard disk in the in-car entertainment system is a recording device within the meaning of the Audio Home Recording Act of  1992, which means that royalties are due from the manufacturer for the music that it is assumed will be recorded onto it. Chrysler (with Ford and GM, sued earlier) think otherwise.

If a hard disk gives rise to a claim for royalties (as seems to be the case), it hardly matters whether it is in a car, a computer or a hi-fi component. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see how this case turns out. There should be no danger of it happening in the UK, though: there is no statutory right to royalties on recording media of any sort, and CBS Songs v Amstrad back in about 1986 relieved the manufacturer of any liability for copyright infringement just because they marketed a recording device.

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