Broadcasters have lost the latest round in the fight to avoid streaming royalties. Several broadcast groups had appealed an earlier decision by the U.S. Copyright Office that found radio stations liable for performance fees for their streamed programming.
Thursday, that case was dismissed. Judge Berle Schiller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania agreed with the copyright office, and stated in his order that there was ample evidence to support the earlier decision. He stated, “I can only conclude that Congress did not intend to exempt AM/FM webcasters from the … public performance right.”
NAB President/CEO Eddie Fritts stated, “Broadcasters, record companies and consumers have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship whereby airplay on radio stations benefits all parties, along with generating enormous revenues for the record labels.
“We’re disappointed that this unique relationship will be disrupted by the court ruling. Broadcasters currently pay in excess of $300 million annually in music licensing fees to compensate songwriters and music publishers. Any additional fee to compensate record companies would be unfair and unreasonable, and for that reason, we are reviewing our options.”