Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: Intellectual Property

Subscribe to Intellectual Property RSS Feed

FCC Policy by Blog Post – Over-the-Top Internet-Delivered Television Programming Providers May be Treated as MVPDs, a Reaction to Aereo?

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Television
The FCC announced two significant policy initiatives by Blog post in the last week – perhaps recognizing that the Internet provides a better way of packaging a message about policy directions than an unpredictable news conference.  The two decisions announced this week by Blog post were (1) the Chairman announcing that he has directed that … Continue Reading

TV Music Licensing Committee Settles Antitrust Action with SESAC over Music Licensing Rates and Terms – Radio Watches and Wonders if It Can Get a Similar Deal

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Performance Royalty, FM Radio, Intellectual Property, Music Rights, Television
SESAC is the one major performing rights organization whose rates have not, until now, been subject to judicial review as part of an antitrust consent decree.  Perhaps because of that fact, broadcast stations have often complained about the rates they charge for the music that they license, as there is currently no cap on what … Continue Reading

Webcasting Rate Proposals for 2016-2020 Now Public – What Will The Copyright Royalty Board Be Considering in Setting Royalty Rates for Internet Radio?

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
The proposals for the royalty rates to be paid by webcasters to SoundExchange for the public performance of sound recordings for 2016-2020 are now on file with the Copyright Royalty Board, and they represent two differing perspectives on the state of the industry and how much Internet radio companies can and should pay to record … Continue Reading

Why is a US Radio Station Getting a Notice about Webcasting Royalties in Canada? – Why Webcasters Geo-Block Their Streams to Avoid International Music Royalties

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Music Rights, On Line Media, Website Issues
An Alabama radio station recently received a notice about the new royalty rates that are payable to ReSound, the Canadian equivalent of SoundExchange, a collective set up to receive from webcasters royalties for the public performance of sound recordings and to distribute those royalties to the copyright holders (usually the labels) and the artists who … Continue Reading

Court Rules in Favor of Flo & Eddie in California Suit Against Sirius XM for Public Performance of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings – What Does This Decision Mean for Broadcasters, Digital Media Companies and Other Music Users?

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
As the summer of copyright comes to an end, the music licensing issues which arose causing me to repeatedly write about this extremely contentious season in copyright law are by no means finished (see the most recent of our Summer of Copyright articles here).  In fact, on the first full day of autumn, we received … Continue Reading

The Summer of Copyright Part 4 – The Department of Justice Reviews the ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees – What Should Broadcasters and Music Services Know?

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media, Television
As we wrote in our previous articles on the music licensing issues being considered during this summer of copyright (here, here and here), one of the concerns driving many of the proposed reforms is the current demand of songwriters and publishing companies for a larger share of the music royalty pie.  In licensing the public … Continue Reading

Copyright Office Extends Comment Date on Music Licensing Study; Copyright Royalty Board Extends Reply Comment Deadline on Webcasting Recordkeeping

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
Extensions of time were just announced in two proceedings affecting music licensing – one a Copyright Office proceeding studying music licensing generally, and another a Copyright Royalty Board proceeding on webcasting recordkeeping.  Only a week after announcing that it would take another round of comments on its music licensing study, the Copyright Office announced an … Continue Reading

August Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Renewals and EEO, and Comments on Multiple Ownership, Music Rights, New Class of FM, and Much More

Posted in FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Television
Time flies, and more regulatory requirements and comment deadlines in regulatory proceedings are upon us in the month of August.  The regular regulatory deadlines include license renewal for TV and LPTV stations in California, and EEO Public Inspection File yearly reports for stations in California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.  Noncommercial TV stations … Continue Reading

The Summer of Copyright, Part 3 – The Copyright Office Requests Further Comments in its Inquiry on Music Royalties and Licensing

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
We’ve already written twice about the copyright issues being considered this summer before various agencies and branches of government – all dealing with music licensing issues (see our previous Summer of Copyright articles here and here).  The pattern continues, as the Copyright Office has now requested further comments on music licensing issues, following up on … Continue Reading

Not Dead Yet – Aereo Tries To Reinvent Itself By Arguing that it is a Cable System Entitled to Carry Television Stations Pursuant to the Statutory License

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
The Supreme Court decision in the Aereo case seemed to be the end of the line for the service that was retransmitting television stations signals without consent, as it found that the broadcasters were entitled to an injunction to force Aereo to cease the public performance of their signals without consent.  In fact, Aereo itself … Continue Reading

The Summer of Copyright, Part 2 – The House Judiciary Committee Plans Omnibus Music Licensing Bill – The “Music Bus”

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee last week finished its second hearing on music licensing (written witness statements and a link to the webcast can be found here).  Congressional hearings usually are not in-depth proceedings looking to establish detailed facts as done in a hearing in a court proceeding.  Instead, they are formalized proceedings where … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Finds Aereo Infringes on Broadcasters’ Public Performance Rights – Why the Court Got it Right

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
The Supreme Court decided the Aereo case (decision here) and, if I can brag a little, the decision was pretty much what we predicted here after the oral argument – a relatively narrow decision finding that there is a public performance of the broadcast television signals retransmitted by Aereo as part of their service.  The … Continue Reading

The Summer of Copyright and Music Licensing Part 1 – Songwriters Demand A Bigger Share

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
This is the summer of copyright – as seemingly every government agency with any connection to media issues is looking at music licensing and other copyright issues.  Much press was given to the House Judiciary Committee hearing held last week.  But the Congressional committee’s consideration of copyright issues is but one of the many places … Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Board Extends Comment Dates on Webcasting Recordkeeping Requirements

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
The Copyright Royalty Board has extended the deadline for comments on proposals to change the recordkeeping obligations of webcasters and others who use music under the statutory license granted by Section 114 of the Copyright Act.  Some of the proposed changes include requiring that services provide ISRC codes for all songs when filing their Reports … Continue Reading

Copyright Office Announces One Week Extension for Comments on Music Licensing Inquiry and 3 Roundtable Discussions of the Issues – Just One of Many Proceedings Affecting Music Rights and Royalties

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
On Friday, the Copyright Office extended by one week the deadline for comments on its wide-ranging proceeding on the current music licensing regime and whether reforms are necessary or appropriate.  We wrote about the proceeding and the many questions that it raises here.  Comments are now due on May 23.  Comments can be filed on … Continue Reading

Broadcaster Asks Court to Declare that Internet Simulcasts of Radio Station Exempt From SoundExchange Royalties If Geo-Limited to a 150 Mile Zone

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Digital Radio, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
This week brings news that a Virginia broadcaster has brought suit to have a court declare that broadcasters who stream their signal on the Internet, but limit the reception of the signal to within 150 miles of their transmitter site, should not have to pay royalties to SoundExchange.  As we have written before, when Congress … Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Board Starts Rulemaking to Change Recordkeeping Requirements for Commercial and Noncommercial Webcasters

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting
On Friday, the Copyright Royalty Board published in the Federal Register a proposal for changes in its recordkeeping rules – suggesting more detailed requirements for larger webcasters who are required to report the songs that they play on a “census” basis – that would be most webcasters who are required to report the songs that … Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Board Reissues Decision on Internet Radio Royalties for 2011-2015 – Same Rates But New Analysis

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
Last week, the Copyright Royalty Board published in the Federal Register its decision on Internet radio royalties for 2011-2015.  The question that I received many times since the publication last week is “huh, didn’t we already see that decision a long time ago?”  Indeed we did – the original decision setting the rates was reached … Continue Reading

Raising the Royalties for Musical Works? A Discussion of the Potential Dispute between Music Rights Holders over the Value of Their Rights

Posted in Appearances, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
In discussing music royalties, the controversy that usually makes the news is the dispute between music services and copyright holders – with services arguing that the royalties are too high and rightsholders contending that they are underpaid. The introduction of the Songwriters Equity Act in Congress earlier this year seems to point toward a new … Continue Reading

Copyright Office Begins Wide-Ranging Inquiry Into Music Licensing

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
The Copyright Office recently issued a Notice and Request for Public Comment on a study that they have commenced on music licensing in all of its forms.  We’ve written about the complexity of the music licensing process many times, and about proposals for reform.  Many of these proposals have been issued in connection with the … Continue Reading

Utah Court Enjoins Aereo Service – A Preview of the Supreme Court Decision? Could It Find Aereo to Violate Copyright Law Without Overturning the Cablevision Decision?

Posted in Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television
Aereo finally lost a court decision.  The US District Court in Utah released a well-reasoned decision finding that the service, by transmitting via the Internet over-the-air TV programming to subscribers without any consent from the TV stations or their program suppliers, violated the copyrights that the stations have in their programming.  Specifically, the Court found … Continue Reading

Digital and Social Media Legal Issues for Broadcasters – Exercise Care in Using Internet Content on Your Digital Properties, And Why Fair Use is Not Always a Defense

Posted in Appearances, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, Music Rights, On Line Media, Website Issues
Social media and other digital platforms are playing a more and more important part of the business of traditional media companies.  In the last few weeks, I’ve participated in two seminars, looking at the legal issues that arise in these areas.  At the Winter Convention of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, I conducted a seminar outlining … Continue Reading

It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles Arrival in the US – Why Are Their Songs Still Missing on Some On-Demand Music Services?

Posted in Appearances, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
50 years ago the Beatles invaded America, stacking up Number 1 hit records by the dozens, and creating music that, even today, remains incredibly popular with many Americans.  But go to many of the interactive or on-demand music services, like Spotify, and search for Beatles music, and what will you find?   Mostly cover tunes by … Continue Reading

What’s Up in Washington For Broadcasters in 2014? — Part 2, Issues beyond the FCC Including Ad Taxes, Music Royalties, Privacy Reforms, and More

Posted in Advertising Issues, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, General FCC, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Music Rights, On Line Media, Privacy
We recently wrote about FCC issues that will be facing broadcasters in this new year.  While broadcasters will no doubt be busy keeping track of what the FCC is up to, they also need to have their eyes on other government agencies, as there are numerous issues that may come from Congress and the other … Continue Reading