AARC files lawsuit against GM and Ford over vehicles with music-copying devices

The Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC) filed a lawsuit against General Motors (GM), Ford Motor Company and two suppliers on Friday, accusing the companies of circumventing obligations for music-copying devices installed on the vehicles.

According to the lawsuit, the music-copying devices - which enable users to burn CDs onto hard drives in their cars - are being installed by GM and Ford in their vehicles without paying any royalties to the AARC.

The vehicles on which such devices are fitted include the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Volt, the Cadillac CTS, the GMC Terrain, the Ford Mustang, the Ford Taurus and the Lincoln Navigator.

The lawsuit filed by AARC pivots around a 1992-enacted law called the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA). The law was chiefly enacted to allow manufacturers of personal media devices to sell their products without any potential copyright-infringement threat.

Seeking unpaid royalties plus damages, AARC has stated in its lawsuit: "Defendants have violated and continue to violate the AHRA by manufacturing or importing and distributing digital audio recording devices without complying with the AHRA."