Connoisseur Media

Pro Music Rights has reached a settlement with Connoisseur Media, one of numerous music users the upstart performance rights organization sued in March seeking music royalties. According to a report from Digital Music News, the court filing doesn’t spell out terms of the settlement, apart from saying the “action is voluntarily dismissed with prejudice,” meaning the suit can’t be filed again.

In the March complaint, PMR alleged broadcasters and streaming services have “shut PMR out of the market” in order to “fix prices” and maintain “the conspiracy in the buy-side of the market” to the detriment of songwriters. “They have choreographed a refusal, and continuous refusal, to deal with PMR,” said the suit. It added that music users have used “nearly verbatim excuses and language” in an across-the-board refusal to deal with the company.

As Inside Radio reported in July, the organization dropped its federal lawsuit against iHeartMedia and Napster parent Rhapsody, after they reached a voluntary agreement with the PRO. Florida-based PMR declined to comment on the move, but both were later listed on its website alongside companies with which it has licensing deals.

Filed in Connoisseur Media’s home market of Connecticut, the March suit also named as defendants the Radio Music License Committee and the National Religious Broadcasters Music License Committee, as well as an array of music users including Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Deezer, Apple, Amazon, Google, Soundcloud, the U.K.-based 7Digital Group, the Digital Media Association, the Television Music License Committee, and the National Association of American Wineries, whose members play music at their vineyard shops.

PMR was created by Jake Noch, 21, who previously launched the label Brazy Records and the publishing house Sosa Entertainment at the age of 16. Through a series of deals, he has leveraged a content list during the past few years to amass what PMR claims is a 7.4% share of the U.S. music market. Its catalog includes works by such artists as A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell, Young Jeezy, Juelz Santana, Lil Yachty, Soulja Boy, Nipsey Hussle, 2 Chainz, Migos, Gucci Mane and Fall Out Boy, among others.

As Inside Radio reported in October 2018, PMR signed an alliance with the law firm Gora in Stamford, CT, to reach out to music users and begin efforts to enforce the copyrights held on more than two million musical works.