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1/19/2007
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Judge Won't Dismiss Suit Against XM

Despite pressure from the recording industry, the satellite radio provider said it will prevail in court.

A federal judge on Friday refused to throw out a record-industry lawsuit accusing XM Satellite Radio of violating its license deal by making it possible for subscribers to record music on special digital players.

U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts in New York denied XM's request to dismiss the suit filed last May by the Recording Industry Association of America on behalf of almost a dozen record companies.

XM said in a statement that it remained confident that the lawsuit was without merit, and that the company would prevail. "At this stage of the proceeding, the court's ruling is required to be based on the false characterizations set forth in the plaintiff's complaint," the company said. "The real facts strongly support our view that the lawsuit is barred by the Audio Home Recording Act. We look forward to making our case in court."

The act, which is part of U.S. copyright law, makes it legal for people to record music from a radio for personal use. But record companies argue that XM is violating its broadcast-only license by allowing subscribers with special receivers with an MP3 player to record the music. The receivers, which don't allow the music to be transferred to other devices, include Pioneer's Inno. The makers of the players haven't been sued.

The recording companies filing the suit include Atlantic, BMG Music, Capitol Records, Elektra, Interscope Records, Motown, Sony BMG, UMG, Virgin Records, and Warner Bros.

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