In 2014, a new performance rights organization was formed by businessman, Irving Azoff. This organization, Global Music Rights, took on a mission to reestablish the rights and claims to revenue for artists from popular streaming sites, such as YouTube or Pandora. With a mission that capitalized on the bitterness of artists with free streaming, Global Music Rights (GMR) and Azoff signed many to his new company, including people like Pharrell Williams, Shane McAnally, and Ryan Tedder. However, trouble has now found its way to the once budding business. Recently, a lawsuit has been established that represents 10,000 radio stations, blaming GMR for “anticompetitive behavior” that could drastically and unfortunately change the economic structuring of the music industry.
Filed by the Pennsylvanian law firm of Latham & Watkins, the suit points out the higher rates that GMR asserts and how this can undoubtedly alter the music industry, unjustly. The suit also beckons the involvement of the Department of Justice in order to have clear oversight of GMR. The Radio Music License Committee is also seeking to demand that immediate action be taken so that GMR must charge lower rates to radio stations while the legal process continues.
Ultimately, this is bad news for Azoff and GMR. Just recently, a lawsuit between the Radio Music License Committee and another performance rights organization, SESAC, ended in favor of radio stations. SESAC had to settle with newfound judicial monitoring as well as paying $3.5 million in litigation costs and reestablished standards for performance rights rates negotiation.