PRO Music Rights Quietly Settles Massive Streaming Collusion Lawsuit with Connoisseur Media

Pro Music Rights has quietly settled its far-reaching collusion lawsuit with Connoisseur Media, a Westport, Connecticut-based operator of 39 radio stations and digital assets.

The performance rights organization first submitted the 120-page-long complaint in March of this year, naming Apple, Amazon, Google, Spotify, and an array of other prominent music-industry companies as defendants. In the all-encompassing suit, Pro Music Rights (PMR) alleges that the defendant companies have “entered into an illegal agreement, combination and/or conspiracy to shut PMR out of the market and to fix prices at infracompetitive levels.”

In July, Digital Music News was first to report that Pro Music Rights had voluntarily dropped iHeartMedia and Napster from the lawsuit with prejudice. The terms of the settlements weren’t publicly disclosed, but both platforms’ logos quickly appeared beneath a PMR website banner reading: “Trusted by Top Companies Worldwide.” Three months later, the banner still features iHeartMedia and Napster, and has also added 7digital (another of the case’s defendants).

Now, a new filing reveals that Pro Music Rights has settled with Connoisseur Media, which, as mentioned, is based out of Connecticut – where PMR filed the complaint. The concise legal document doesn’t detail the agreement’s terms, but it does indicate that the “action is voluntarily dismissed, with prejudice.” Connoisseur Media’s logo hadn’t made its way onto PMR’s homepage banner at the time of this writing, but the addition may well be forthcoming.

Connoisseur has yet to address the deal in a public statement on its website or via social media. And Pro Music Rights CEO Jake Noch, for his part, told DMN that he was “unable” to comment on the reasons behind the settlement. But as each of the voluntary dismissals has been made with prejudice, once again – meaning that PMR can’t refile the suit – it seems that Florida-based Pro Music Rights is slowly chipping away at the long list of defendants through behind-the-scenes talks.

Outside of this months-running courtroom confrontation, DMN reported about two weeks ago that Pro Music Rights had initiated litigation against Meijer. The Michigan-headquartered supermarket chain allegedly failed to honor the terms of a public-performance agreement signed (digitally) by one of its Team Leaders, per PMR, which is seeking over $6 million in damages.

Additionally, Sosa Entertainment – an indie label also owned by Jake Noch – is continuing to battle Spotify in a case centering on allegedly unpaid royalties for a whopping 550 million plays attributable to Sosa artists. The streaming service has levied a firmly worded counterclaim, stating that the plays in question resulted from bots and calling Noch a “fraudster.”

More as this develops.

5 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Just Wondering

    When are these incessant PMR fluff pieces going to finally come with the disclaimer that PMR is a long-time spinsor of this newsletter? I mean, their ad is directly below this “article” fercrissakes!

  2. Avatar
    Josh

    It’s so obvious that PRO Music Rights is fraudulent. Why not dig into that and investigate. Frivolous lawsuits hoping someone bites, that’s PMR’s game.

    • Avatar
      Sinead

      Don’t forget to add listing fake staff on their LinkedIn page, like the tech guy in Angola and project manager in India. Claiming they were the third biggest PRO in the US on the day the company launched. Advertising job vacancies with million dollar salaries that won’t ever get filled.

  3. Avatar
    Baker

    This organization is a joke. I’ve just looked at their website. There’s an artist called CHINMYSWIFTSHARP. CHINMYSWIFTSHARP has 3525 songs listed in the Pro Music Rights catalog. 3525 songs is a lot. David Bowie wrote just over 200 in his entire career. Bruce Sprngsteen is around the 300 mark but CHINMYSWIFTSHARP has managed 3525. These are a few of CHINMYSWIFTSHARP’s song titles: Clefbias21022005, Chillykid1Rest, CymophanLento, CrazyhamFine,
    CrazyhamFine. There is no evidence anywhere on the internet that this artist and their 3525 songs exist apart from from Pro Music Rights’ website. They’re trying to get people to buy licences to play this non-existent music.