SoundExchange, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc., No. 1:13-cv-1290 (D.D.C. filed August 26, 2014).
Pursuant to the "primary jurisdiction" doctrine, a federal district court judge stayed a royalties dispute between SoundExchange and Sirius, saying that the dispute belongs before the Copyright Royalty Board. The parties already had met before the CRB in two prior proceedings, setting royalty rates for the digital broadcast of sound recordings on satellite radio SoundExchange brought an action in federal court alleging that Sirius underpaid royalties owed from 2007-2012 (the subject of the first CRB proceeding). The instant dispute centered on the meaning of the term "Gross Revenues" (a percentage of which are the royalties owed SoundExchange), and Sirius's alleged reductions/exclusions therefrom based on pre-72 recordings and Sirius' premiere subscriber package. The Court agreed with Sirius that the disputes "are best suited to review in the first instance by the CRB. ... [T]he technical and policy expertise of the CRB makes referral to that body appropriate." Because neither party was asking for a change in the royalty rates, only a clarification, the CRB was found to have continuing jurisdiction.