UNITED STATES MUSIC COPYRIGHT ENFORCER Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) is suing US music on demand service Pandora for royalties.
In a statement BMI said it filed suit to pursue royalties that might be owed to songwriters and artists that it represents.
"Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) filed an action in New York City today asking the Federal Rate Court to set royalty fees for internet radio service Pandora on behalf of the organization's 600,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers," it said.
"The action asks the court to set reasonable, market driven fees for Pandora after negotiations did not result in an agreement. BMI represents the public performance copyright interest of its affiliates when their works are played across all venues including the internet, cable, broadcast television and radio, satellite and in nightclubs, bars and other commercial establishments."
We have asked Pandora to comment and are still waiting for its response. According to figures Pandora released last month it has 200 million registered users in the US, and its user base has doubled over the last two years. Pandora is not available in the UK.
"We started this company to help people discover and enjoy music they love, and to help artists reach and grow their audiences. Only in our wildest dreams did we imagine what it would become," said Pandora founder Tim Westergren.
"It is now clear that radio is changing, and that's great news for music fans and for the tens of thousands of working artists who now have a home on the air."
BMI claims it has a "blanket copyright license agreement for the performance of music online", and has had that for 18 years. It said that this is the first time it has had to go to the courts for satisfaction. µ