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XM Satellite Sued for Player Licensing Fees

It seems that the recording industry is getting tired of suing individuals and is now going after XM Satellite’s new player, the $400 Inno. They are not happy that XM subscribers are able to save up to 50 hours of XM programming on it to be listened to any time the subscriber desires.

The recording industry does not see the difference between this player and an iPod, but there are a couple very important distinctions. The first is that the music can not copied and the second is that the music can only be played as long as the user continues to subscribe to the XM service. The lawyers for XM likened their device to a video cassette recorder, though I would look at it as more like a TiVo. The user is merely time shifting the listening experience and giving themselves the opportunity to listen to what they want, when they want.

Maybe the recording companies will lose big and this will be just the start of the courts reigning in their out of control legal strategy. They have unfortunately won some preliminary judgments i their piracy fight, though those mostly dealt with the legal processes they were required to follow. This time they will be taking on someone who has the means to fight for their rights. While XM’s motivations may be more financial than any type of corporate benevolence, they still have the opportunity to change the landscape of digital music.


Posted by Jeff


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