"Entering into this license made the lawsuits unnecessary."
——MusicMatch’s Bob Ohlweiler

MUSICMATCH SETTLES WITH RIAA — UPDATE

Maybe "Settles With" Isn’t The Right Phrase; Perhaps "Capitulates To" Is More Accurate
MusicMatch said it struck a licensing deal Sunday (7/15) with the Recording Industry Association of America that will allow the company to broadcast musical performances on its online radio service. Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, it will allow for both parties to drop lawsuits previously filed against each other.

MusicMatch was one of several webcasters caught in an escalating legal battle over the royalty structure for Internet radio stations, and was subsequently sued by the RIAA last month for violating copyrights by offering personalized web radio services (hitsdailydouble.com, 6/11). The RIAA’s suit followed legal action already taken by MusicMatch.

At issue in the suits was whether webcasters that allow users to pick the style of music they want to hear or skip songs selectively should require a separately negotiated license from the record companies, or whether they should be eligible for compulsory licensing like traditional radio.

"Entering into this license made the lawsuits unnecessary," said Bob Ohlweiler, MusicMatch’s Senior VP of Music Development, who added his company has been in negotiations with the RIAA for some time.

Ohlweiler called the agreement a "blanket" license with the RIAA covering all of the labels it represents. Other webcasters also being sued, including MTVi and Xact Radio, are expected to sign similar licensing agreements.

In other MusicMatch news, the netco has added TVT Records chief Steve Gottlieb to its board of directors. In addition to his expertise in online music, Gottlieb brings to the company the ability to get execs auditions for Credit Suisse First Boston commercials.

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