US satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM is taking SoundExchange and A2IM to court, alleging that they collaborated on dissuading companies from signing up to the company’s direct licensing programme. SiriusXM had been trying to strike deals to pay lower royalty rates than those made on a statutory basis through collecting societies, but only 80 independent labels signed up according to Billboard. The lawsuit claims SoundExchange and A2IM launched “a coordinated attack” on the programme by reaching out to their members – with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the American Federation of Musicians also cited for taking part. SiriusXM also claims that SoundExchange is looking to up its royalty payments from 8% to 13%-20% between 2013 and 2017 in statutory licensing renegotiations – a key reason why it wants direct deals.

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