9:46am PT by Eriq Gardner
Spanish-Language Radio Giant Sued for Playing Springsteen, Metallica Songs
Irving Azoff's Global Music Rights is expanding efforts to force the radio industry to the deal table.
On Thursday, GMR filed a copyright suit against Entravision Communications, which owns and operates dozens of predominately Spanish-language radio stations across the United States. The suit accuses the broadcaster of violating performance rights on 130 songs, including Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run," Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" and Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."
GMR is a competitor to ASCAP and BMI, and significantly, the organization isn't compelled by any consent decree to offer blanket licenses.
The Justice Department is currently reviewing the consent decrees that govern licensing by ASCAP and BMI, and in the meantime, Global Music Rights is locked in a legal war with the Radio Music License Committee, which represents some 10,000 radio stations throughout the nation. Both sides are accusing the other of violating antitrust laws, and a California judge's decision will be coming soon. A trial is tentatively set for next year.
Global Music Rights insists it has the power to negotiate rates and that in the absence of agreements, radio stations are running a serious risk given GMR's small — but important — catalogue of songs that includes works associated with John Lennon, Prince and Jon Bon Jovi.
According to GMR's latest complaint (read here) against Entravision, the defendant hasn't responded to repeated communications offering licenses.
Entravision hasn't yet responded to a request for comment.