11th April 2011 – The global independent music agency Merlin has agreed to a settlement of a long-running dispute with XM Satellite Radio over the Pioneer Inno recordable radio receiver and other similar recording devices.
Merlin has fought on for the independent community’s due share of monies owed by XM Satellite Radio to rights holders, after claims were settled with the four major record labels between 2007 and 2008.
The out-of-court agreement closes a longstanding class action lawsuit. While achieving a settlement of its own members’ claims, Merlin’s decision to participate in the class action was pivotal to the achievement of the $3.6 million settlement for the entire independent record sector.
As a result of the class action settlement, Merlin members and all other independent record labels that had their sound recordings transmitted by XM Satellite Radio between March 30, 2006 and December 6, 2010 have the opportunity to participate in the settlement.
Said Charles Caldas, Merlin CEO: “This is an important settlement, not just for Merlin’s members, but also, I am pleased to say, for the independent community at large. This announcement underlines the value that Merlin has brought to its members by creating a body that ensures that they, and not just the major labels, have the opportunity to benefit from settlements such as this one.”
With its members’ market share in the US alone reported at around 10%, Merlin provides an invaluable solution for digital music services looking to include independent labels. This settlement is testament to both Merlin’s diligence in protecting its members’ rights and the value of its member label’s repertoire. Labels such as Epitaph, Rough Trade, Merge, Warp Records, Yep Roc/Red Eye, Naïve, Naxos, Tommy Boy, One Little Indian, Kontor New Media, Beggars Group, [PIAS] Entertainment Group,!K7, Domino and Koch/E1 are all members of Merlin. Their artists include Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, Dizzee Rascal, Neko Case, Spoon, Grizzly Bear, Bright Eyes, Carla Bruni, The National, Tom Waits, DJ Khaled, Dorrough, Tiësto, Scooter and many many more.
Merlin, the virtual fifth major, represents the world’s most important set of
independent music rights. Merlin commenced operations in May 2008. Since then it has struck deals with a number of digital services including Spotify, Rdio, MySpace Music and Simfy. Merlin seeks to ensure its members have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are appropriately valued and protected.
Merlin represents by far the largest and most compelling basket of global independent rights in the world. Members include Merge Records, Warp Records, Epitaph, Naïve, Tommy Boy, One Little Indian, Yep Roc/Red Eye, Kontor New Media, Beggars Group, Sub-Pop, !K7, PIAS, Domino and Koch/E1. Their artists include Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, The XX, Neko Case, The National, Tom Waits, Spoon, Grizzly Bear, DJ Khaled, Dorrough, Tiësto, Scooter and many many more.
A global organization, its members’ market share in the US alone is reported at around 10%, equivalent to that of the smaller major labels, whilst in Europe member labels released 72% of the top 60 independent albums released in the past three years and commanded a 11% digital UK market share in 2010. Most recently, streaming service Spotify publicly announced that Merlin repertoire represented over 10% of the usage on its service.