XM has settled a lawsuit with Warner Music over a portable XM device that lets users record music directly from the satellite radio service. Execs there won’t talk about the settlement, but we can tell you that deal requires XM to pay WMG a fee for each “Inno” player it sells. Last week Universal Music Group inked a similar pact, which means that the satellite company still has to come to terms with Sony-BMG and EMI Group before it can extract itself from court proceedings.
This kind of deals are becoming more and more common: Last year XM’s partner-to-be Sirius (SIRI) structured a similar set of pacts with the majors over its version of the same device. And UMG has convinced Microsoft (MSFT) to pay it a tariff on each Zune player it sells. Conventional wisdom is that these kind of deals mark the big labels as slow-witted dinosaurs, but we don’t blame them for trying to grab any additional revenue streams they can.
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