Now Sony is suing United Airlines.
On Tuesday Sony Music filed a lawsuit against United Airlines, Inflight Productions, and Rightscom for playing unauthorized copies of songs on airplanes.
The Hollywood Reporter says the defendants were carrying out unauthorized duplication of songs and music videos. The copied media was put on airplane servers and made available to customers on-demand.
Rights management consultancy Rightscom contacted Sony after being hired by United Airlines and Inflight Productions. They let Sony know what was going on, saying United would have to contact Sony’s sub-labels regarding licensing. “Discussions commenced, but the lawsuit states that during this time, United Airlines continued to offer its customers access to copyrighted music.”
Sony wants to collect the profits made from these copies and is also seeking statutory damages. In addition, Sony has filed two claims against United for infringing common law and unfair competition. The common law claim comes because the airline also used songs recorded prior to 1972. This is tricky because prior to 1972 recorded music was not covered by copyright laws.
Smart move United.
Image by Chris Guillebeau, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)