Not like this is altogether surprising
by any means, but a US District Judge has ruled that a lawsuit in which "record companies allege XM Radio
is cheating them by letting consumers store songs can proceed toward trial." Deborah A. Batts has decided to not throw out the case which Atlantic, BMG Music, Capitol Records, and "other music distribution companies
" filed against XM, and claims that the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 does "not protect the company in this instance." Essentially, the judge ruled that special handheld recording devices, marketed as XM+MP3 players (you know, like the Inno
), are not at all like "radio-cassette players," and then proceeded to explain how "recording songs played over free radio doesn't threaten the market for copyrighted works as does the use of a recorder which stores songs from private radio broadcasts." Aside from our apparent inability to understand why source A is less illegal than source B, we're completely on the same page with Ms. Batts, but nevertheless, she also asserted that XM is attempting to be "both a broadcaster and a distributor, while only paying to be the former," but completely disregards the extra fees that satellite radio firms pay to record labels in comparison to "free" stations. But if you think XM is downtrodden, you'd be sorely mistaken, as the company simply stated that it "looked forward to making its case (read: winning
) in court." Now that's the spirit.