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ASCAP, RMLC Reach Tentative Music License Deal

When final, deal will cover 2010 to 2016; end ongoing Federal Rate Court litigation

The Radio Music License Committee and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers have reached a tentative agreement on music royalties.

This settlement, when finalized, will cover the seven-year period 2010 to 2016. It would end ongoing Federal Rate Court litigation, according to both parties.

RMLC Chairman Ed Christian, who’s also CEO of Saga Communications, said the deal reflects the current realities of the radio industry “and puts the industry back on sound footing insofar as its licensing relationships with ASCAP are concerned.”

The “settlement in principle” concerns the fees radio stations would pay to publicly perform ASCAP’s more than 8.5 million musical works through 2016. Under the deal, stations would move away from a flat fee and return to a revenue-based fee. The agreement would also accommodate radio’s newer distribution platforms like Internet websites, smartphones and other wireless devices.

The agreement would also simplify the reporting process through electronic filing, according to ASCAP and the RMLC.