Pro Music Rights sues supermarket giant Meijer for alleged non-payment of public performance license fees

 Pro Music Rights sues supermarket giant Meijer for alleged non-payment of public performance license fees


Florida-based royalty assortment agency Pro Music Rights (PMR) has sued US supermarket chain Meijer for allegedly refusing to pay fees agreed in a contract for a public performance license.

The lawsuit, filed in a Florida court docket final week, alleges {that a} Meijer worker entered right into a contract on behalf of the corporate with PMR.

PMR claims that this contract noticed Meijer comply with a “non-exclusive license to publicly use or perform copyrighted musical compositions” that have been represented by PMR at 256 Meijer areas over 5 years.

The lawsuit alleges that Meijer agreed to this license in alternate for paying PMR $50 per 30 days, per every enterprise location.

With its headquarters in Michigan, Meijer is an American supercenter chain all through the US Midwest. It repoertedly generates over $18bn in annual revenues.

According to PMR’s declare, which you can read in full here,  in mid-June, 2020, Joshua Robinson, known as a ‘Team Leader’ at Meijer, entered right into a written Business License Agreement with PMR on behalf of his employer.

Robinson, continues the grievance, “manually inputted payment information, using [Meijer’s] credit card information, and authorized payments using the provided payment method”.

Whilst coming into into this contract on-line, Robinson was required to manually place a verify mark in a field confirming that he was over 18 and that learn he and understood the phrases of the deal on behalf of Meijer.

Adds the grievance: “Before manually and voluntarily clicking on the hyperlink titled ‘create new account,’ Defendant’s Agent learn the next sentence, stating: ‘Licensee understands that they are taking a license pursuant to the above contract of at least Fifty dollars per location, plus taxes, processing fees and yearly increases, which will be assessed each month and automatically charged.’”

Amongst the six causes of action listed by Pro Music Rights in the lawsuit, the Florida-based firm is seeking an order declaring that a contract exists between PMR and Meijer and that “both parties are legally bound and obligated to perform under the terms of the contract.

In addition to that order, PMR is suing for breach of contract.

Adds the complaint: “With the exception of two payments made to [PMR] on [June] 18, 2020, the Defendant has failed and refuses to acknowledge their duty and obligation to continue to perform conditions, covenants, promises, and agreements required of them under the terms of the Contract.

“The Defendant’s failure to proceed to pay the quantity it knew it owed [PMR] underneath the Contract constitutes a breach of the Contract and Florida legislation.

“Because of Defendant’s failure to carry out their obligations underneath the Contract, Plaintiff has been broken within the sum of $6,264,138.03, which is the remaining worth of the contract that has not been paid.”

The different causes of motion listed within the grievance embody Negligent Misrepresentation; Unjust Enrichment; Promissory Estoppel and Quantum Meruit “in the alternative to its breach of contract claim”.

PMR hit headlines earlier this yr for suing “the entire music industry” over what it alleged was a possible “conspiracy to shut PMR out of the market and to fix prices at infracompetitive levels”.

Another of Noch’s companies, Florida-based impartial music firm Sosa Entertainment LLC, sued Spotify towards the end of last year, claiming, amongst different issues, that Spotify has not paid Sosa full royalties related to over 550 million streams.

Spotify launched a countersuit in May, claiming that its fraud-monitoring crew discovered “unmistakable signs that the streams of Noch and Sosa’s content had been artificially inflated”.

In June, Sosa requested a federal Judge to dismiss Spotify’s countersuit, calling the streaming firm’s motion “procedurally defective” and “legally deficient”.

On July 2, PMR and Napster proprietor Rhapsody jointly filed a notice at the US District Court in Connecticut, stating that the 2 events had agreed that PMR’s motion towards Rhapsody needs to be dismissed “with prejudice”.

On July 8, a near-identical submitting got here from iHeartMedia and PMR, adopted, on July 10, by one other submitting that indicated an agreed dismissal (once more, “with prejudice”) between PMR and UK-based 7Digital.

Most just lately, on Monday (July 27), one other agreed dismissal (once more, “with prejudice”) was filed by the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC), following the identical wording because the others. (You can learn every submitting by way of the related hyperlinks right here.)

Bloomberg Law noted in July that the truth that all of these dismissals have been made “with prejudice” is important, because it suggests that every occasion has been settling out of court docket with PMR. (It additionally means the swimsuit can’t be refiled towards the defendants in every case.)Music Business Worldwide


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