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Vivendi Labels’ ‘Ellen’ Suit Set for November Trial

A federal judge ordered a November trial for the case in which Vivendi SA’s music labels charge that Time Warner Inc.’s “Ellen DeGeneres Show” plays their recordings without authorization.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles on Aug. 30 denied a request by both sides to halt the case for arbitration. The case will proceed to trial on Nov. 30, Wilson ordered.

Labels in Paris-based Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, the largest record company in the world, sued New York-based Time Warner, the distributor of the daytime “Ellen” talk show, and its producers, accusing them of infringing copyrights by playing recordings without obtaining a license and paying royalties.

Lawyers for “Ellen” claimed Universal granted an implied license because it knew its songs were being played and took no action for almost six years.

The two sides said last month they had agreed to binding arbitration and asked Wilson to halt the case. The judge didn’t give a reason for denying the stay. Lawyers for Time Warner and Universal weren’t immediately available for comment.

The case is Interscope Records v. Time Warner Inc., 10-cv-01662, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, (Los Angeles).

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