Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: Music Rights

Congressman Watt’s Music Royalty Bill – Performance Royalty For Over-the-Air Broadcasters And Other Fundamental Copyright Act Changes Impacting All Digital Music Services

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
Congressman Mel Watt from North Carolina this week introduced his long-awaited bill proposing that over-the-air radio broadcasters pay a royalty to sound recording copyright holders (usually the record label) and to artists. As we have written many times, currently, royalties on sound recordings are paid only by companies that make digital performances, including webcasters (see our… Continue Reading

Making Music Rights Manageable in a Digital World – Issues Identified In Commerce Department “Green Paper” on Copyright Policy

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
No one ever claimed that music royalties are easy to understand, especially in the digital age when nice, neat definitions that had grown up over many years in the physical world no longer necessarily make sense. The complexity of the world of digital music licensing is clear from many sources, but the Commerce Department’s “Green Paper”… Continue Reading

Flo and Eddie Use State Laws on Pre-1972 Sound Recordings to Target Certain Sirius XM Services

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Website Issues
In a lawsuit filed last week (see the complaint here), Flo and Eddie, the artists who were behind the 1960’s band The Turtles, claim that Sirius XM has infringed on the copyrights in their songs by allowing copies of these recordings to be made by the satellite radio service and in certain Internet offerings that… Continue Reading

Using Music in Radio or TV Productions – Why ASCAP, BMI and SESAC Licenses Usually Are Not Enough

Posted in Advertising Issues, Intellectual Property, Music Rights, On Line Media, Website Issues
Using music in commercials and other broadcast station productions can be treacherous. As we’ve written before, contrary to what some stations might think (based on the questions we often get from broadcasters around the country), a station’s ASCAP, BMI and SESAC royalties do not give them the right to use popular music in their station… Continue Reading

Apple Announces an Internet Radio Offering and Pandora Buys a “Real” Radio Station – What Does It Mean for Music Royalties?

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
In one week this month, Apple announced that it will get into Internet Radio, and Pandora, the biggest player in that space, announced that it will be buying a traditional, over-the-air radio station. What do these two big announcements say about the state of music royalties for digital music services? Apple’s struggles to get its service… Continue Reading

How a NY State Court Decision on Pre-1972 Sound Recordings Clouds the Safe Harbor Protections of Websites Featuring User Generated Content

Posted in Intellectual Property, Music Rights, On Line Media, Website Issues
This week, the Chairman of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee issued a press release stating that he intends that the Committee do a thorough reexamination of the Copyright Act, noting that new technologies stemming from digital media have upset many settled expectations in Copyright Law, and confused many issues. That this release was issued… Continue Reading

Aereo Court Decision Permits Internet Streaming of TV Programs Without Royalties – Undermining the Public Performance Right?

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, Music Rights, On Line Media, Television, Website Issues
We’ve written extensively about copyright issues for audio services, but the big copyright decision that recently made headlines is a TV issue, though one that could have an impact on audio as well. That was the Second Circuit decision in the Aereo case – upholding a lower court decision allowing a company to retransmit over-the-air TV signals… Continue Reading

Why the Differing Perceptions of the Value of Music by Digital Music Services and Copyright Holders Make Royalty Decisions So Hard

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
With the National Association of Broadcasters big convention coming up next week in Las Vegas, this week we’ll look at a couple of the issues that will likely be discussed when the industry gathers for its annual reunion. On Sunday, before most of the NAB Show begins, the Radio and Internet Newsletter (RAIN) will be holding… Continue Reading

Pandora Enters Settlement to Pay For Public Performance of Sony/ATV Musical Works – What’s Its Impact on Licensing for Music Services and Rights Holders?

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
Deciding how to pay music royalties has always been difficult – trying to figure out what permissions are necessary, who has the rights to grant such permission, and how much the rights will cost. The one place where the rights were fairly simple – paying for the right to publicly perform musical compositions – may be… Continue Reading

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball – What Washington Has In Store For Broadcasters in 2013

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Indecency, Internet Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Privacy, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Every year, about this time, I dust off the crystal ball to offer a look at the year ahead to see what Washington has in store for broadcasters. This year, like many in the recent past, Washington will consider important issues for both radio and TV, as well as issues affecting the growing on-line presence of… Continue Reading

Full Text of Copyright Royalty Board Decision on Sirius XM and Music Choice Royalties Released – The Basics of the Decision

Posted in Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
The full decision of the Copyright Royalty Board setting the royalty rates to be paid to SoundExchange by Sirius XM and Music Choice from 2013 through 2017 has now been released.  We wrote about the initial release of the summary of the decision before Christmas.  The final decision is interesting in many respects. First, it is the first… Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Board Releases New Rates for Sirius XM and Cable Radio – They are Going Up, Full Reasoning of the Decision to Come

Posted in Internet Radio, Music Rights, On Line Media
The Copyright Royalty Board has announced the royalties that will be paid for the public performance of sound recordings by Sirius XM for the period 2013-2017. The decision also covers the "Preexisting Subscription Services", i.e. Music Choice in connection with its cable radio service delivered with listener’s cable television packages. The full text of the decision is not released… Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Board Oral Argument on Sirius XM SoundExchange Royalties – A View of the Application of the 801(b) Standard Proposed for Internet Radio

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
The royalties that Sirius XM will pay to SoundExchange for the next 5 years will be decided by the Copyright Royalty Board ("CRB") in December. To summarize the hearings that have been held over the last year, the CRB held an oral argument last week, where Sirius XM and SoundExchange presented their arguments as to what those… Continue Reading

RMLC Files Antitrust Suit Against SESAC – What Does It Mean For Broadcasters?

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Music Rights
Last week, the Radio Music License Committee (“RMLC” – see our article about the RMLC), filed a complaint in US District Court in Pennsylvania against SESAC, arguing that SESAC is a monopoly and should be treated like ASCAP and BMI.  RMLC is asking that SESAC be subject to an antitrust consent decree as are these two bigger collection societies. As… Continue Reading

Chaffetz Bill Introduced in House of Representatives to Adopt 801(b) Standard for Internet Radio Royalty Decisions of Copyright Royalty Board – What’s It All About?

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
The recent introduction of a bill by Congressman Jason Chaffetz offers proposals for reform of the operations of the Copyright Royalty Board – reforms that many in the Internet Radio industry have hailed as promising real change in the way that royalty decisions for webcasters have been made. While some webcasters seem to think that relief is… Continue Reading

Another Music Royalty Deal By Clear Channel and a Record Company – Why Broadcaster Deals With Record Companies May Be a Good Thing

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Internet Radio, Music Rights
Last week, we wrote about the recently announced deal between Big Machine Records and Entercom Communications.  The day after we posted that article, Clear Channel announced another label deal – this time with Glassnote Entertainment Group, the home of bands including Mumford & Sons and Phoenix.  As with its Big Machine deal, the public releases suggest… Continue Reading

A Deal Between Entercom and Big Machine Records To Give the Record Company a Royalty on Over-the-Air Broadcasting

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Internet Radio, Music Rights
A deal between Big Machine Records and a broadcaster, this time Entercom Communications, was announced at the NAB Radio Show giving the record company a royalty on the broadcaster’s revenue from over-the-air broadcasting in exchange for lower royalties on digital operations. This deal follows one announced by Clear Channel back in June. Talking to broadcasters around the country,… Continue Reading

What is the RMLC, And Why Should a Radio Station Pay Their Bill?

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Intellectual Property, Music Rights
Radio broadcasters have been receiving invoices from the Radio Music License Committee (“RMLC”), and many are asking whether the invoice is “real.”  Some stations seem concerned that they are being asked to pay some fee that they really don’t owe. The truth is that this is one bill that most commercial stations in fact do owe, and it is… Continue Reading

Full Text Available of Settlement on Mechanical Royalties, as Copyright Royalty Board Seeks Comments

Posted in Music Rights
Last month, we wrote about the proposed settlement on "mechanical royalties" under Section 115 of the Copyright Act. These royalties are paid when "reproductions" are made of a musical composition.  In the analog world, these were most commonly paid by a record company to a music publisher for the rights to use a musical composition when one… Continue Reading

Radio Music Licensing Committee Announces Settlement With BMI Following Settlement With ASCAP – Why SESAC is Not Included

Posted in Broadcast Performance Royalty, Music Rights
The Radio Music Licensing Committee has announced a settlement with BMI over music royalties for the public performance of musical compositions for the period from 2010-2016.  Terms have not been announced, so we can’t provide the details, yet.  But as we wrote recently when the RMLC announced the terms of its agreement with ASCAP, we would… Continue Reading

Music Royalty Settlement Announced on Mechanical Royalties – Not A Decision on Webcasting Rates

Posted in Internet Radio, Music Rights
The broadcast and music trade press brought news of a settlement between music companies and digital media services regrading digital music royalties.  Some press reports jumped to the conclusion that the decision had something to do with the royalty rates that Internet radio companies pay SoundExchange for streaming their music on the Internet.  Others expressed disappointment that… Continue Reading

Sirius XM Brings Law Suit Against SoundExchange Alleging Collusion to Stop Direct Licensing of Music – Impact on Royalties?

Posted in Internet Radio, Music Rights
SiriusXM announced that is has filed a legal action, including antitrust claims, against SoundExchange and A2IM (the American Association of Independent Music – the association of independent record labels), charging, according to a press release, these two organizations "with unlawfully interfering in SiriusXM’s efforts to secure, through a competitive market, copyrights critical to its business. The complaint… Continue Reading

Constitutionality of Copyright Royalty Board Argued Before the US Court of Appeals – How Will It Affect Future Music Royalty Rate-Setting?

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights
The Copyright Royalty Board makes many important decisions, yet for the last several years, there has been a cloud over its operations, as there have been questions as to whether its members were constitutionally appointed (see our articles here, here and here). Well, the question is before the Courts again – this time squarely in front of… Continue Reading