Broadcast Music, a songwriters' rights organization, is suing Pandora Media after the Internet radio company rejected a request to pay a higher license fee for playing songs across various devices, including mobile phones.
In a lawsuit filed with the Manhattan federal court on Thursday, BMI said it had proposed an increase in Pandora's fees "consistent with market rates to reflect the explosive growth of the Internet music streaming marketplace."
BMI collects license fees on behalf of over 600,000 affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed.
One of the main challenges facing the decade-old Pandora is the rising cost of licensing music, which grows as more people tune in. The company had about 70.8 million active listeners at the end of May.