Ford and General Motors have been sued for their use of Clarion and Denso digital audio hard drives, by a group representing musicians.
The group called the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC) is seeking royalties for use of hard drive technology in the cars, as well as damages of $2,500 per device for three years.
Ford offers a “Jukebox” supplied by Clarion in about 10 car models and GM offers what is calls a Hard Drive Device supplied by Denso in about 9 car models.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) called the suit “frivolous.”
Clarion said it has “no comment” on the suit.
The AARC claims that the hard drive devices violate the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) signed into law in 1992 that allows consumers to make one-to-one copies of digital recordings, but requires companies making recording technology to pay royalties to artists, songwriters and others.
The CEA noted that the hard drives in the cars are used for mapping data and other information and “as a convenience to consumers” may also be used “to store owner’s personal CDs ” so they don’t have to be carted back and forth from home to car.
Head of the CEA, Gary Shapiro, said, “These multipurpose, automotive storage capacities fit neither the definitions nor intention of the AHRA – they are not efficient for copying the CDs of anyone other than the automobile owner.”
Source: AARC, CEA