Dear Members and Friends:
AARC’s efforts to enforce the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) and collect the royalties our members are owed continue. As you know, this July we filed a landmark suit against several automobile companies and electronic device manufacturers who refused to pay royalties or include required copy protection systems on their in-car music recorders, in violation of the AHRA. Today, we expanded our enforcement efforts by filing an additional complaint against Chrysler and two Mitsubishi Electric companies regarding their “automobile-based digital audio recording devices,” which are music-recording hard drive systems available in Chrysler, Jeep, Ram and Dodge cars and trucks. These devices are covered by the AHRA, but the defendants have refused to pay royalties on them or include the required serial copy protections.
We had hoped Chrysler and the Mitsubishi Electric companies would settle their liability and begin paying what they owe once they had an opportunity to study and assess the issues. But it has now become painfully clear they have no intention of complying with the law. While litigation is always a last resort, it is clear this lawsuit is the only way to protect our members’ rights.
As I have said many times, the AHRA is fundamentally a tradeoff that provides legal certainty and tremendous economic opportunities to companies like Chrysler and Mitsubishi Electric in exchange for modest royalty payments and protection against serial copying. Chrysler and Mitsubishi Electric have had all the benefits of this tradeoff, and AARC will not stand by while they refuse to hold up their end of the deal.
More background on the litigation and the AHRA is available here.
Thank you very much for your support.
Linda R. Bocchi, Esq.
Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies