Category Archives: Music Licensing

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Geo-fenced in: Magistrate recommends tossing Internet streaming case

Posted in Broadcast Technology, Music Licensing
A magistrate judge has recommended that the district court dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction a declaratory judgment complaint concerning Internet streaming royalties.   In WTGD 105.1 FM v. SoundExchange, Inc., a group of radio broadcast stations in Harrisonburg, Virginia sought to establish that when Internet streams of the stations’ broadcasts are restricted to 150 miles… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Pandora’s Petition for Relief from the Communications Act’s 25% Foreign Ownership Benchmark

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Foreign Ownership, Music Licensing
In the latest chapter of the attempt by Internet streaming music provider Pandora to acquire a South Dakota radio station, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has asked for comments on the petition for declaratory ruling that Pandora filed in late June.  The petition, as we explained previously, is the first one filed by an entity… Continue Reading

Pandora Requests FCC Permission to Exceed 25% Foreign Ownership Benchmark Under Section 310(b)(4), Providing First Test of FCC’s Case-by-Case Approach to Broadcast Foreign Investment

Posted in Broadcast Regulation, Foreign Ownership, Music Licensing
Just over a year ago, Internet streaming music provider Pandora filed an application seeking FCC consent to acquire a South Dakota radio station, KXMZ(FM).  As we explained at the time, Pandora was motivated in part by a desire to qualify for lower royalties for public performances of musical works in the repertories of the American… Continue Reading

DOJ Opens Review of ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees

Posted in Copyright, Music Licensing
The United States Department of Justice has opened a review of the consent decrees that govern the operation of the nation’s two largest music performing rights organizations (“PROs”), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).  The Department is seeking public comments on the effectiveness, operation, and continued need… Continue Reading

Virginia Radio Stations Seek Judgment to Avoid Internet Streaming Royalties

Posted in Broadcast Technology, Music Licensing
Radio stations streamed over the Internet that restrict their audience to a 150-mile radius through geo-fencing should not have to pay copyright royalties to SoundExchange, according to a Declaratory Judgment Complaint filed Wednesday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. SoundExchange collects and distributes royalties to copyright owners under the… Continue Reading

What Broadcasters Should Take Away From Recent Decision in SESAC Radio Litigation

Posted in Copyright, Music Licensing
Just before Christmas, Magistrate Judge Lynne A. Sitarski, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, issued a recommendation that a District Judge deny a motion by the Radio Music License Committee (the “RMLC”) for a preliminary injunction preventing SESAC from increasing its rates during the pendency of the RMLC’s antitrust suit… Continue Reading

Rate Court Agrees with Pandora and Invalidates Music Publisher Withdrawals of “New Media” Rights from ASCAP

Posted in Copyright, Music Licensing
The ASCAP Rate Court has ruled that the antitrust consent decree that governs ASCAP’s licensing practices (“AFJ2”) precludes ASCAP’s publisher members from withdrawing certain rights from ASCAP’s repertory.  The court granted Pandora’s summary judgment motion, holding that AFJ2 requires ASCAP to license all “works” in its repertory to any service that requests a license.  The… Continue Reading

Pandora’s Proposed Broadcast Radio Station Purchase Raises Objections Based on FCC Foreign Ownership and Attribution Rules as Well as Performance Royalty Issues

Posted in Broadcast Attribution, Broadcast Regulation, Copyright, Foreign Ownership, Music Licensing
In June, Pandora announced plans to purchase a South Dakota radio station, KXMZ(FM), from Connoisseur Media, LLC.   From the outside, it might have seemed curious that a pure-play Internet webcaster would seek to enter the broadcast radio business by purchasing a single station.  But Pandora explained that, among other things, the company wanted to buy… Continue Reading