GMR and RMLC Reach Conditional Agreement to End Legal Battle – Billboard

After five years of antitrust litigation, the Radio Music Licensing Committee and the Irving Azoff-founded performance rights organization Global Music Rights have reached a conditional agreement.

Word of the agreement was sent to broadcasters on Jan. 5, stating that direct communication with broadcasters from GMR was forthcoming and that the details of the settlement must remain confidential; however, the statement explained that this deal would ensure broadcasters have a stable performance license rate for GMR songs for “several years,” according to the press release, and that it would put an end to five years of litigation between RMLC and GMR.

In order to ensure litigation ends and the agreement is reached, a specific percentage of the RMLC’s 10,000-plus member stations need to sign on. If not enough broadcasters oblige by the deadline of Jan. 31, GMR states it has “not made any commitment to offer any other license to radio stations.”

“If this settlement fails and litigation continues, there is no guarantee GMR will make another license available to your stations at all, much less at the prices in this settlement,” the announcement warns.

The joint announcement also explains to broadcasters that the settlement is an effort to end the five-year legal battle between GMR and RMLC, which has cost both sides a lot of “time and money.”  The deal is said to reflect the growth of GMR’s roster over the course of the antitrust battle as well as other changes in the “licensing landscape” and will treat all comparable radio stations consistently.

Over the course of their dispute, which began in 2016, RMLC and GMR have lobbed several insults at each other. RMLC , for example, has accused GMR — which represents some of music’s biggest stars like Bruce Springsteen, Drake and Bruno Mars — of  “orchestrating an exodus by artists from other PROs specifically in order to raise the price of pre-existing music licenses.” Meanwhile, GMR has referred to the RMLC as a  “78-year-old radio cartel,” citing that the committee controls over 90% of radio industry revenue.

Should broadcasters fail to agree to the forthcoming deal, the current license used by broadcasters will expire on March 31, 2022.



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