Ford Motions to Dismiss AARC’s Royalty Claims
Back in July, the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC) announced that it was bringing a suit against General Motors and Ford Motor Company that claimed the automakers owed them for unpaid royalties. AARC seeks $2,500 for every vehicle sold in the last three years that houses a digital audio recording device; while nobody seems to have exact figures, it’s a fair estimate that this is somewhere in the “buttload of money” bracket.
Ford and supplier Clarion fired back at the AARC on Friday, issuing a lengthy motion to dismiss.
“Neither Ford nor Clarion is in the business of facilitating the serial copying of music,” the statement reads. It contests that the Nav System—provided by Clarion—is not an audio recording device as defined by the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, and that the lawsuit is therefore invalid and must be dismissed.
In a similar fashion, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals determined in 1999 that computers and hard drives did not qualify as DARDs.
While Ford’s Nav System is indeed capable of storing information from personal CDs, the argument is that it acts more as a hard drive than a blank CD-R because it is not capable of making a digital musical recording.
“Unlike a CD burner or a tape deck, the Nav System does not create a separate material object like a CD or cassette tape on which music files are recorded,” the motion reads. “Instead, it records music from CDs and stores or fixes it on its own hard drive, which also houses software programs and other data. The Nav System with its hard dive, therefore, is neither a DARD nor a digital music recording under the AHRA.”
It has the makings of a landmark decision for the music and automotive industries in any case. If you have the head for legalese, you can read the entire motion to dismiss below, provided by The Hollywood Reporter’s Eriq Gardner.
News Source: The Hollywood Reporter