Streaming Royalties Future Murky

Attorneys say it’s too soon to advise stations on the future
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Lots of things are swirling in the world of music copyrights and that means local radio needs to stay on its toes.

So says NAB’s Jane Mago and other legal experts.

Speaking to attendees Friday at the Radio Show, Wiley Rein’s Bruce Joseph said the Copyright Royalty Board is working on setting rates for 2016 through 2020. In a month or so, he’ll know more about what the webcasters and record labels are asking for.

NAB is participating in the proceeding. So too are Pandora, various smaller web streamers and most likely Apple, he said.

Joseph discussed the VerStandig Broadcast suit in Virginia in which the owner has asked for an exemption from streaming royalty rates based on the ability to geo-limit the transmission to within 150 miles of the transmitter. SoundExchange filed a motion to dismiss; that case is pending.

Asked by an attendee whether stations should prepare to raise their streaming royalty budgets, panelists said it’s too soon to know.

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