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Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: Internet Radio

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More Time for Comments on DOJ Review of ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees – Now Due August 9

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
In a very important proceeding we summarized here, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division is reviewing the antitrust consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI – the decrees that require that these performing rights organizations treat similarly situated licensees (and artists) in the same way and which allow a Court to review the reasonableness of… Continue Reading

DOJ Starts Review of BMI and ASCAP Consent Decrees – Exploring the Background of the Issues

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Uncategorized
The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division yesterday announced that it was starting a review of the ASCAP and BMI antitrust consent decrees that govern the United States’ two largest performing rights organizations for musical compositions (referred to as the “musical work”). The DOJ’s announcement of the initiation of the examination of the consent decrees poses… Continue Reading

Pre-1972 Sound Recordings and the July 8 SoundExchange Filing Deadline

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
Recently, the Radio Music License Committee sent out a memo to broadcasters about a July 8, 2019 SoundExchange payment deadline for pre-1972 sound recordings.  As with everything in copyright law, the issues surrounding pre-1972 sound recordings are complicated, and the RMLC notice, while seemingly straightforward, still resulted in our receiving lots of questions.  These questions… Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Board Announces Changes in Judges

Posted in Cable Carriage, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
With the Copyright Royalty Board now in the early stages of the next proceeding to consider webcasting royalties (see our article here) as well as other proceedings including the distribution of cable and satellite television royalties to TV programmers (see these CRB notices), the Chief Judge of the CRB, Suzanne Barnett, announced her retirement earlier… Continue Reading

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Reports, Webcasting Proceeding, FCC Meeting and Other Issues

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting
With the reopening of the Federal government (at least for the moment), regulatory deadlines should begin to flow in a more normal course.  All of those January dates that we wrote about here have been extended by an FCC Public Notice released yesterday until at least Wednesday, January 30 (except for the deadlines associated with… Continue Reading

Update:  Call for Petitions to Participate in WEB V Proceeding on Webcasting Royalties for 2021-2025 Published in Federal Register: Petitions to Participate Due February 4

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
Last week, we noted that the Copyright Royalty Board had a notice on its website saying that, because of the government shutdown, it could not publish its notice soliciting petitions to participate in WEB V, the case to set webcasting royalties paid to SoundExchange by noninteractive webcasters (including broadcasters who simulcast their programming on the… Continue Reading

Government Shutdown Delays Start of Webcasting Royalty Proceeding

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
Update – January 24, 2019 – the notice seeking petitions to participate has been published in the Federal Register, setting a filing deadline of February 4, 2019.  See our article here for more details. In our summary of January regulatory issues for broadcasters, we suggested that the Copyright Royalty Board this month might start WEB… Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Board Final Decision on Rates for Business Establishment Services

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
In one of those year-end decisions that got lost in the holiday rush, in late November, the Copyright Royalty Board issued its final ruling on the rates to be paid to SoundExchange by “business establishment services” for the ephemeral copies of sound recordings when these music services transmit programming to their customers. We wrote about… Continue Reading

January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – The Shutdown Does Not Put Everything on Hold

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, General FCC, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
We typically publish our article about upcoming regulatory dates before the beginning of each month, but this month, the looming FCC shutdown and determining its effect on filing deadlines pushed back our schedule. As we wrote on Friday, the effect of the shutdown is now becoming clear – and it has the potential to put… Continue Reading

No Cost of Living Change in Webcasting Royalties for 2019 – Rate Proceeding for 2021-2026 about to Begin

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Last week, the Copyright Royalty Board announced its calculations for whether there would be a cost of living increase in the 2019 rates that Internet radio stations pay to SoundExchange for the public performance of sound recordings. In its initial release on the subject, the CRB’s announcement indicated that commercial webcasters would continue to pay… Continue Reading

Hey Alexa – Remind Me How Much You Are Increasing My SoundExchange Music Royalties

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media, Podcasting
At almost every broadcast conference, there is a discussion of using Alexa, Google Home and other smart speakers and digital assistants to increase the reach of broadcast radio stations. Discussions of how to get listeners to tune in and how to monetize the listeners on these new platforms are regularly included. But rarely is there a… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Upholds Copyright Royalty Board’s 2015 Webcasting Royalty Rate Decision

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
The US Court of Appeals today released a decision upholding the Copyright Royalty Board’s 2015 decision setting the SoundExchange royalty rates for 2016-2020. We wrote about that decision here, and provided more details here. In any appeal of an agency decision, the Court routinely affords the agency deference in reaching its decision. The Court will… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Finds That Digital Remasters of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings Likely Do Not Result in New Copyrighted Work That Would Bring These Songs under Federal Law – Reversing District Court Decision

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
Two years ago, a District Court Judge, in a case brought against a broadcaster alleging that the broadcaster owed money under California state law for playing pre-1972 sound recordings, dismissed the suit finding that the broadcaster was playing digitized versions of those songs, created after 1972, which were covered under Federal copyright law (we wrote… Continue Reading

FCC Asks for Comments on the State of the Audio Marketplace – A Precursor to Reviewing the Radio Ownership Rules?

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, Internet Radio, Multiple Ownership Rules, On Line Media, Uncategorized
The FCC routinely, at the request of Congress, does a study of the Video Marketplace. That study is submitted to Congress so that Congress can use it as a factual basis for any legislative issues that may come up dealing with the TV marketplace. The FCC has not previously done this sort of routine study… Continue Reading

Hey, Alexa, How Are Your Affecting My Podcasting Music Royalty Obligations?

Posted in Appearances, Digital Radio, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media, Podcasting, Website Issues
Next Wednesday, July 25, I will be speaking at the Podcast Movement Conference in Philadelphia, as part of the Broadcasters Meet Podcasters Track, discussing legal issues that broadcasters need to consider as they move some of their content into podcasts. One of the topics that I will be discussing will be the music royalty obligations… Continue Reading

What Do Broadcasters and Media Companies Need to Know About the GDPR?

Posted in Internet Radio, Internet Video, On Line Media, Privacy, Uncategorized, Website Issues
By now, you have probably heard that the European Union (EU) has a new data protection law on the books, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – but what are the new rules, and how might they apply to broadcasters? Below we address these and other commonly asked questions about the GDPR. What is the… Continue Reading

Hey, Alexa, How Much Did You Raise My SoundExchange Royalties?

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
In the last year, the popularity of Alexa, Google Home and similar “smart speaker” devices has led to discussions at almost every broadcast conference of how radio broadcasters should embrace the technology as the new way for listeners to access radio programming in their homes. Broadcasters are urged to adopt strategies to take advantage of the… Continue Reading

Google Announces Programmatic Buys of Audio Ads – Looking at Legal Issues with Programmatic Sales

Posted in Advertising Issues, Internet Radio, On Line Media, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting
Last week, it was announced that Google through its DoubleClick platform, would be offering programmatic buying opportunities for advertisers looking to place audio ads into online streams. While that system is initially being rolled out among the big digital audio services, if it or other similar platforms are expanded more broadly, it could bring more… Continue Reading

Moving Broadcast Political Advertising Rules to the Online World – NY State Adopts a New Law While Congress Considers Online Political Advertising Disclosures, and the FEC Considers Enhanced Online Sponsorship Identification

Posted in Internet Radio, Internet Video, On Line Media, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Website Issues
With high profile primaries in numerous states and similar elections last week, and more coming over the next few months in preparation for the November election, broadcasters are dealing with the legal issues that arise with on-air advertising that either promotes or attacks candidates and which addresses other important matters that will be decided in… Continue Reading

Senate to Hold Hearing on May 15 on Music Modernization Act

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
The week before last, we summarized the provisions of the Music Modernization Act as passed by the House of Representatives. The Senate is now poised to take up this legislation in a hearing scheduled by the Senate Judiciary Committee for next Tuesday, May 15. The legislation proposes, among other things, to set up a SoundExchange-like… Continue Reading

Legal Issues for the Broadcaster in Digital and Social Media Advertising

Posted in Advertising Issues, Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Radio, Internet Radio, Internet Video, On Line Media, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Privacy, Website Issues
Last week, Aaron Burstein of our law firm and I conducted a webinar for several state broadcast associations on legal issues in digital and social media advertising. As broadcasters become more active in the digital world, whether it be through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, or by posting their content online through their… Continue Reading

House of Representatives Passes Music Modernization Act – Looking for Clarity on Mechanical Royalties, Pre-1972 Sound Recordings and Other Music Rights Issues

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
This week, the US House of Representatives passed the Music Modernization Act. While widely supported among many digital media companies providing on-demand subscription music services as well as by many in the music industry, the bill seemingly has not received the publicity that has been afforded to past music royalty legislation. That may be, in… Continue Reading

SoundExchange to Audit Records of Streaming by Alpha Media, Music Choice, and Google

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
Last week, the Copyright Royalty Board published a Federal Register Notice announcing that SoundExchange was auditing broadcaster Alpha Media as well as Music Choice and Google to assess their compliance with the statutory music licenses provided by Sections 112 and 114 of the Copyright Act for the public performance of sound recordings and ephemeral copies… Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Board Decision Will Raise Royalties Paid to Songwriters and Publishers By Digital Music Services

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
The amount paid to songwriters and publishing companies for the making of “phonorecords” will be going up after a Copyright Royalty Board decision just released to the parties to the case. A summary of the findings have been published on the CRB website, here. The new rules are available here. A full decision explaining the… Continue Reading