Frequently Asked Questions
- What is this case about?
- What is a Class Action lawsuit?
- How do I know if I am included in the Settlement?
- What did I need to do to participate in the Settlement?
- What benefits does the Settlement provide?
- What other agencies were eligible for benefits?
- What did I need to do to exclude myself from the Settlement?
- What happens if I excluded myself from the Settlement?
- What did I need to do to object to the Settlement?
- How were the lawyers paid?
- When and where did the Court decide to approve the Settlement?
- How can I get more information?
On June 1, 2007 Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint against XM in the Southern District of New York. In such complaint, Plaintiffs alleged that XM, from on or about March 30, 2006 forward has, by virtue of its activities in connection with the XM Recording Devices, infringed and violated Plaintiffs’ and members of the Settlement Classes’ rights under federal and New York law. As a result of this alleged conduct, Plaintiffs allege that they and other members of the Class were harmed.
On July 3, 2007 XM answered Plaintiffs’ complaint denying all of the allegations.
The parties were engaged in extensive fact discovery through July 2008, when, at the parties’ joint request, the Court ordered a discovery stay pending the parties’ settlement negotiations. By October 15, 2010, the parties executed the Settlement Agreement.
On or around February 10, 2009, the news media began reporting that XM’s parent company, Sirius XM, was preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing.
A class action is a lawsuit in which a few representative plaintiffs bring a lawsuit against defendants on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated persons. The representative plaintiffs, the court, and counsel appointed to represent the class all have a responsibility to make sure that the interests of all class members are adequately represented. Importantly, class members are NOT individually responsible for the attorneys’ fees or litigation expenses of class counsel. In a class action, attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses are paid from the settlement fund (or the court judgment amount) and must be approved by the court. When a class enters into a proposed settlement with a defendant, such as this settlement with XM, then the court will require that the class be given notice of the settlement and be given an opportunity to be heard. The court then conducts a hearing to determine, among other things, if the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate.
The Settlement Classes are defined as follows:
- Sound Recording Settlement Class
All persons or entities who own or control (in whole or in part) exclusive rights in at least one sound recording protected under federal copyright law and/or state common law and/or unfair competition law that was transmitted by the XM Service at least once during the time period from March 30, 2006 through December 6, 2010.
- Musical Composition Settlement Class
All persons or entities who own or control (in whole or in part) exclusive rights in at least one musical composition protected under federal copyright law of which a sound recording embodying such musical composition was transmitted by the XM Service at least once during the time period from March 30, 2006 through December 6, 2010.
- Excluded Persons and Entities
For a list of Persons and entities excluded from the Settlement, please view the March 22, 2011 Final Order and Judgment, available under the “Court Documents” tab on this website.
If you are a member of either Settlement Class, you remain in that Settlement Class unless you elected to be excluded. As a member of a Settlement Class, your interests are represented by the representative Plaintiffs and Class Counsel. However, you could have had your own attorney appear on your behalf at your expense. If you received the Notice by mail, you were automatically registered to receive future Notice mailings and did not need to take further action. If you reviewed the Notice online, or received a copy by some means other than by mail from the Administrator, you had to register to receive future Notices and a Proof of Claim, which contained additional important information, including information about when and how to submit a Proof of Claim. If you registered, you were mailed a Proof of Claim. Please note that the deadline for submitting claims has passed.
On behalf of the Settlement Classes, Plaintiffs entered into the Settlement. XM has paid $3,650,000 to the Sound Recording Settlement Class for XM’s Recording Devices activated between March 30, 2006 and December 31, 2011.
XM has also paid the minimum of $1,252,177 to the Music Composition Settlement Class for XM’s Recording Devices activated between March 30, 2006 and June 30, 2010, and agreed to pay $2.35, $0.93, or $0.78 for certain Recording Devices activated after June 30, 2010 and on or before December31, 2011.
Members or Affiliates of Music and Entertainment
Rights Licensing Independent Network B.V.
If you are a member of the Sound Recording Settlement Class and also a member or affiliate of Music and Entertainment Rights Licensing Independent Network B.V. (“Merlin”), Merlin has filed a Proof of Claim on your behalf. See Stipulation Governing Reimbursement of Expenses and Compensation of Services for Merlin at ¶4.
For these purposes an “affiliate” of Merlin is a member of the Sound Recording Settlement Class whose recordings are licensed to or distributed by a member of Merlin (for example under a distribution or aggregator agreement).
Merlin did NOT submit a Proof of Claim on behalf of any members of the Musical Composition Settlement Class. Accordingly, if you are a Merlin member and also a member of the Musical Composition Settlement Class, you had to submit your own Proof of Claim in order to participate in the Settlement as a member of the Musical Composition Settlement Class.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, any member or affiliate of Merlin had the right to exclude themselves from the Settlement, object to the Settlement and/or file its own Proof of Claim. Any individual action (including filing a Proof of Claim) by a member or affiliate of Merlin shall constitute that Sound Recording Settlement Class member’s operative conduct and shall supersede any action taken by Merlin.
Publisher-Principals of The Harry Fox Agency
If you are a publisher-principal of The Harry Fox Agency, and you joined the settlement negotiated by XM and The Harry Fox Agency in September 2010 on behalf of its publisher-principals, then you could NOT participate as a member of the Musical Composition Settlement Class. See ¶52 of the Settlement Agreement.
If you are a publisher-principal of The Harry Fox Agency, and were offered and did not join the settlement negotiated by XM and The Harry Fox Agency in September 2010 on behalf of its publisher-principals, then you could have participated as a member of the Musical Composition Settlement Class.
The deadline to submit a Request for Exclusion has passed. Requests for exclusion from the Settlement had to be submitted to Class Counsel, XM and the Administrator postmarked no later than February 25, 2011.
If you excluded yourself from the Settlement Classes, you will not be bound by the Settlement Agreement and can independently pursue claims you may have against XM at your own expense. However, if you excluded yourself, you will not be eligible to share in the Settlement Fund.
If you did not request exclusion, you remain a member of the Settlement Classes, but had a right to object to any aspect of the Settlement.
The deadline to object to the Settlement was March 2, 2011.
At the Fairness Hearing on March 22, 2011, the Court reviewed Class Counsel's petition for an award of attorney's fees, reimbursement of expenses and incentive awards and approved an attorneys' fee award of $1,616,833.83 and reimbursement of $172,355.16 for expenses reasonably incurred. For more details, please consult the Final Order and Judgment.
At the Fairness Hearing on March 22, 2011, the Court approved the Settlement and the Plan of Allocation as fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court also approved the Settlement Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses. For more details, please consult the Final Order and Judgment.
More information about the Settlement is available on this website. The website includes an email address you may use to contact the Administrator by email. You may also contact the Administrator by telephone. You can call toll free at (877) 398-1139. You may also write to the Administrator at the following address:
In re XM Satellite Radio Copyright Litigation
c/o The Garden City Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 9708
Dublin, OH 43017-5608