Briefing Dates Set on Internet Radio Royalty Court Appeal

http://www.broadcastlawblog.com/archives/internet-radio-briefing-dates-set-on-internet-radio-royalty-court-appeal.html

The US Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia has set the briefing dates on the appeal filed by various webcasting groups seeking review of the decision of the Copyright Royalty Board setting Internet radio royalties for the period 2006-2010 for the use of sound recordings (see our coverage of this controversy here, and a detailed summary of the CRB decision here).  The briefs of the various webcasting groups who appealed are due on February 25.  The brief for the CRB (represented by the Department of Justice) is due on April 25, and that of SoundExchange (the “Intervenor) will be filed on May 15. Reply briefs are due on June 12, and oral arguments are yet to be scheduled. As the Court usually takes a summer break in July and August, the argument is likely to be held in the Fall of 2008, and a decision would likely not come until very late in the year or, more likely, in 2009.

Appeals were filed by the a number of groups including large webcasters (including AOL, Yahoo and DiMA), the small commercial webcasters (who I have represented), various noncommercial groups (including two collegiate broadcasting groups and the National Religious Broadcasters Noncommercial Music Licensing Committee), and various commercial broadcasters who also stream their signals on the Internet.  A group called Royalty Logic, which is seeking to become a collective that is competitive with SoundExchange, also filed an appeal of the CRB decision. 

Already, there has been a settlement announced on one narrow aspect of the case, the minimum fees for companies that stream multiple channels, limiting the per company minimum fee to $50,000.  Obviously, if there are other settlements, these appeals could become unnecessary in whole or in part.  See our summary of the remaining issues to be resolved here.

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