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XM Signs Agreement With ASCAP

Washington — XM Satellite Radio said today it signed a five-year music licensing agreement with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

The agreement provides for XM Satellite Radio to pay licensing fees (royalties) to ASCAP for the public performance use of ASCAP’s over 7 million works.

XM is currently in the process of renegotiating royalty fees to be paid to song writers, publishers, artists and record labels. In addition to ASCAP, it must also renew music rights agreements with Broadcast Music (BMI) and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) as well as record companies and the Recording Industry Association of America.

Recently, a group of record companies filed a copyright infringement suit against XM, regarding the functions of the portable headset XM/MP3 player called the Pioneer Inno.

XM has since filed a motion to dismiss the case to which the record companies must respond by Aug. 31.

Plaintiffs in the music company suit against XM include Atlantic, BMG, Capitol Records, Elektra, Interscope, Motown, Sony BMG, UMG, Virgin Records and Warner.

The music industry is also pushing legislation in Congress that would force both XM and Sirius Satellite Radio to limit consumers’ ability to record satellite radio programming and raise the royalties that the companies pay to copyright holders.