Since the 1980s, record companies have taken tracks from musicians who had not signed with them and put them on a "pending list". This left thousands of musicians receiving no royalties as the major labels used, distributed, and even profited off their tracks.
In Canada alone, this situation reached the point where 300,000 tracks, some dated back to the 1980s were listed as "pending". Some musicians were actively working -- to no avail -- to stop the record companies from pirating their tracks.
Now they have a bit of vindication. After a long class action lawsuit dating back to 2008, filed on behalf of angry independent musicians, Warner Music, Sony BMG Music, EMI Music, and Universal Music have in effect acknowledged that they were engaging in copyright infringement. They have agreed to settle to the tune of $45M USD.
This is just hilarious. They get convicted of copyright infringement themselves!