Ahead of a Messy Legal Battle, GMR & RMLC File a Joint Protective Order

Top page of joint joint Protective Order requests filed by GMR, RMLC this week.

Top page of joint joint Protective Order request filed by GMR, RMLC this week.

Ahead of their upcoming legal showdown, Global Music Rights (GMR) and the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) have jointly filed for a protective order that will keep potentially sensitive specifics out of the public eye.

According to the filing, the courtroom battles will likely require the “production of confidential, proprietary, or private information,” and it’s in the interest of both parties to prevent this knowledge from being made widely available (and, in turn, widely distributed). While some disclosed facts won’t be protected, those related to “the licensing of copyrighted works,” including pricing statistics, ongoing agreements, and more, will be covered by the order.

The protective order will span the duration of the trials and a period of time after the fact, “until a Designating Party agrees otherwise.” In predictably convoluted legal fashion, “designating party” is the title that refers to GMR and the RMLC when they “designate” a document or piece of information as confidential.

Requirements for designating materials as confidential, exceptions for accidentally failing to designate sensitive materials as confidential (they will still be protected if a correction is issued), and much else, are explained in the filing. That little is left to chance, confidentiality-wise, is indicative of the protected information’s importance and value to GMR and the RMLC.

Significantly, the filing also requests that the protective order be applied to both of the ongoing GMR-RMLC court cases, which U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. has allowed to proceed. However, Judge Hatter Jr. indicated that RMLC, as a non-profit organization, cannot seek damages from GMR; the case will continue as a review of the antitrust allegations.

GMR, an upper-tiered performance rights organization, represents a multitude of prominent artists. RMLC, a Nashville non-profit organization, advocates on behalf of a multitude of radio stations across the United States.

The court cases are equipped with all the makings of high drama. And despite the joint protective order, there will be much to report — and speculate about — in the coming months.