TuneIn has removed access for UK listeners to the majority of radio stations based outside the country due to licensing reasons.
The move follows a High Court battle against TuneIn from Sony and Warner, who say TuneIn was liable for both direct and authorising infringement in connection to all but the UK-based stations contained in its app.
TuneIn argued it was simply connecting users to streams owned by radio stations, and acted as simply a search engine for radio, just ‘communicating the music contained in each radio station’s stream to the public’.
The judge didn’t accept TuneIn’s argument that it was just a search engine, similar to Google, saying users can do so much more than search, such as browse music by genre and artist.
And whilst the ruling was made last November, the changes are only just being made, with users complaining on social media that they can no longer listen to stations from outside the UK.
TuneIn Support is responding by saying: “Due to a court ruling in the United Kingdom, we will be restricting international stations to prohibit their availability in the UK, with limited exceptions. We apologize for the inconvenience..”
A spokesperson for Sony Music commented that TuneIn is “unlawfully redistributing and commercialising links to unlicensed music on a widespread scale.”
(Radio Today via Mike Terry via WOR io group)