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Live365 Files Lawsuit Questioning CRB Constitutionality

Webcaster seeks injunction to prevent further CRB proceedings

As the Copyright Royalty Board has convened another royalty setting proceeding, pureplay Internet radio broadcaster Live365 wants to have a constitutional question resolved; It has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking an injunction to prevent any further proceedings before the CRB until the question — whether or not the CRB judges were appointed in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers — is resolved.

Billions of dollars and the fates of entire industries can ride on the Copyright Royalty Board’s decisions. “The CRB exercises expansive executive authority … unsupervised by the Librarian of Congress or by any other Executive Branch official,” Live365 quoted one appellate judge as stating, this “statutory structure raises a serious constitutional issue.”

Ara Hovanesian, counsel for Live365 stated: “Copyright owners and artists should be especially supportive of getting this constitutional issue decided now because money spent litigating rates before an unconstitutional CRB is wasted if the proceedings are ultimately declared unconstitutional and the artists and labels are forced to fund a ‘do over’ litigation before a constitutional panel of judges.”