A French association representing recorded music rights holders threatened Wednesday to take Apple Computer Inc. to court in a dispute over lost music royalties.
The argument centers on a fee levied in France on sales of blank CDs, tapes, hard disks and other hardware that can be used to copy music. The proceeds go to musicians and other rights holders who lose money to piracy.
The Society of Music Creators, Composers and Publishers, or Sacem, accuses Apple of consistently refusing to pay the levy on sales of its iPod music player, which contains a hard disk drive.
In a statement, Sacem said that unless Apple settles its growing account, the agency that collects the payments “will have no other option than to go immediately to court to make sure that the rights of artists, composers and producers are respected.”