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Tuesday 2 December 2014

AARC sues Chrysler over private copy levy dispute

America’s Alliance Of Artists And Recording Companies has added the US’s other big car maker, FIAT-owned Chrysler, to its target list in the dispute over whether or not ‘copying levies’ need to be paid when hard disks are put into vehicles onto which music can be copied.

As previously reported, the AARC exists to collect, distribute and administer royalties generated by the copying levies that are applied in some jurisdictions on products that allow users to make copies of copyright works. In the US those levies mainly stem from the Audio Home Recording Act, though the reach of that act was limited in the late 1990s when a court ruled that the copying levy did not apply to MP3 players, because people could copy content other than music onto those devices.

Nevertheless, the AARC is arguing that the levy should apply to the hard disks put in vehicles that pump out content via in-car entertainment systems, and it has already sued Ford and General Motors on this point. And now Chrysler has received legal papers relating to its UConnect (previously MyGig) in-car entertainment platform. The AARC says litigation was necessary after direct negotiations failed.

But Chrysler, like Ford and GM, reckons that the aforementioned MP3 player case sets a precedent in its favour regarding whether or not the Audio Home Recording Act applies to the hard disks the company put in its cars. A spokesman for the car maker told Automotive News that the company “believes the lawsuit is without merit and intends to vigorously defend against it”.

- See more at: AARC sues Chrysler over private copy levy dispute | Complete Music Update
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