SiriusXM's Legal Troubles Involve Royalties, Telemarketing
December 5, 2013

Two updates have come out on SiriusXM's most recent legal issues. First, the first of five different lawsuits over royalties will be staying in the state of California. SiriusXM had argued to move the $100 million class action lawsuit filed in California this year, hoping to have it transferred to New York and possibly consolidated with the other royalty suits.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, U.S. District Judge Philip Guitierrez denied SiriusXM this request and wrote that "SiriusXM argues that Plaintiff is playing the 'lawsuit lottery' by filing three essentially identical suits, hoping that at least one court will adopt its allegedly novel view of the law. If Plaintiff’s suits were materially identical, such an effort would smack of forum shopping, and give rise to an unfair risk that the courts would reach inconsistent judgments. However, Sirius XM has not met its burden of showing that Plaintiff’s three suits are materially identical or that the relevant laws are so closely related that it would be unjust for this Court and the courts hearing the New York and Florida actions to decide issues differently. Rather, it seems at this point that although the three suits share a common factual core, they are legally distinct and will turn on the separate interpretations of California, New York, and Florida law, respectively."

Meanwhile, another SiriusXM subscriber has sued the satcaster over unwanted telemarking calls. Liza Lancione filed a suit last month in New York, saying that after canceling her subscription, she was harassed by telemarketers calling her cell phone. A similar complaint was filed against SiriusXM over the summer by a Florida man. And last week, Roger Chesley of the Virginian-Pilot wrote an op-ed column for the paper titled "Open letter to Sirius radio: I won't sign up. Stop calling."

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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