Music Industry News

TuneIn Downplays Its Major Label Legal Defeat — “The Judgment Will Have Very Little Impact”

Last week, TuneIn suffered a legal defeat against two of the major labels on copyright infringement grounds.

In the UK-based decision, TuneIn was found liable for streaming stations based outside of the country.  In his decision, judge Colin Birss in London found in favor of Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, while also issuing a sharp warning against the streaming service’s recording functionality (which, incidentally, was already terminated in the UK).

Now, TuneIn is downplaying that defeat with a ‘no big deal’ response.

In an email to Digital Music News sent shortly after the decision was issued, TuneIn CEO Juliette Morris seemed to brush the ruling off.  “The UK Court found in favor of TuneIn on the most important claim, confirming that music radio stations licensed in the UK can be made available through the TuneIn service to TuneIn’s UK users,” Morris underscored.

“While we continue to evaluate the ruling and consider all options, including appeal, we believe the judgment will have very little impact on the company’s revenue and ongoing growth strategies.”

It’s no small matter that TuneIn still has the right to broadcast stations from within the country from which it is hosted.

While that means no more American broadcasts in London, internet rebroadcasting wasn’t disallowed or made to be prohibitively expensive.

“We won on the most important element of the case, which was the right to provide UK users with access to UK-authorized radio stations,” Morris reiterated.  “TuneIn is committed to complying with all applicable laws in the countries we serve and will continue to defend the right to operate a directory service providing listeners access to content freely available on the Internet.”

The streaming platform also indicated that it was chasing down Bloomberg, whose story on the lawsuit had ‘many misleading points,’ though we’re not sure what those points were (or if they’ve been updated).

Incidentally, it’s worth noting that mega-streamers like Pandora have long since exited the UK, based on copyright legal concerns.

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