Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Lyle Preslar

First Page



In May 2006, the Recording Industry Association of America ("RIAA"), representing the four major record labels, brought suit against XM Satellite Radio, Inc. ('XM') in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.' The plaintiffs allege that XM's introduction of its new service utilizing certain satellite radio receivers, including Pioneer's "inno" (the "inno"), dubbed "XM+MP3,"constitutes "massive wholesale infringement" of RIAA members' copyrighted sound recordings. The plaintiffs claim that XM's new service allows XM subscribers to record broadcasted songs, store them in playlist form, and replay them at the user's will, "effectively provid[ing] a digital download service." This is allegedly a violation of RIAA members' rights under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.

This article briefly analyzes the record labels' federal claims, highlighting issues implicating the Copyright Act, its amendment under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), and the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 ("AHRA"). Part I describes the parties to the dispute. Parts II reviews and analyzes the federal claims. Part III assesses XM's legal assertions in support of its motion to dismiss the complaint. Finally, Part IV concludes that, regardless of the outcome of the case at bar, Congress needs to harmonize various parts of the existing law.