Global Music Rights filed a lawsuit in California federal court today accusing Entravision Communications of willful copyright infringement. The lawsuit alleges that, over two years, Entravision stations played more than 130 copyrighted songs nearly 15,000 times without paying songwriters, according to a statement issued by GMR. The company says it made five separate written proposals to Entravision but received no response.
A rep for Entravision did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.
“Global Music Rights’ mission is to ensure that songwriters receive fair pay. Entravision used our writers’ songs to drive listeners and earn millions of dollars in revenue, yet it paid our writers nothing,” said Daniel Petrocelli of O’Melveny, the lead attorney representing GNR. “Entravision is a large, sophisticated company and knew exactly what it was doing. Global Music Rights will defend the rights of our writers against such intellectual property theft.”
The lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California is the first copyright infringement suit brought by Global Music Rights, a performance rights organization founded in 2013 by longtime music executive Irving Azoff. GMR licenses the performances of songs written by a small roster of popular artists, such as Foreigner, the Eagles, Pharrell Williams, Pearl Jam and Smokey Robinson.
“I founded Global Music Rights to stand up for writers who create the music we love and form the foundation of the radio industry,” Azoff said. “When a radio company willfully violates the law, we will defend our writers every way we know how. Litigation is not our first choice, but Entravision’s flagrant conduct left us no other option.”
Global Music Rights is also a party in antitrust litigation against the Radio Music Licensing Committee, which represents over 90% of the terrestrial radio industry.