Entries Matching: Radio Royalties

Broadcasters: For Fair Access to Content Before They Were Against It

Opinions on the rights of content owners differ among broadcasters when they are the owners who can profit from new distribution methods.


Creators should be paid a fair price for their content. Or they shouldn’t be. Broadcasters are arguing both sides of the same issue when the content is television versus music on the radio.

At the hearing on the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, Marci Burdick, speaking on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters and Ben Pyne, president of global distribution at Disney Media Networks, both stressed the importance of retransmission consent to their business model.

The retransmission consent system gives broadcasters the right to control whether cable or satellite providers can carry their programming. Retransmission consent is one of the regulatory systems that grew up around cable, but now threatens emerging video providers.

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Why Internet Radio Royalties Led Pandora to Buy an FM Radio Station

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Pandora’s recent purchase of a South Dakota FM radio station to obtain lower rates for its webcasting service reminds us how inefficient and illogical our music licensing system can be today.


Sparked by an op-ed penned by Pandora employee Christopher Harrison, yesterday reports surfaced that Pandora has purchased a terrestrial radio station in South Dakota. At first glance, it seems downright bizarre to see an internet radio company invest in a single FM radio station in a relatively small market. But a closer look at the thicket of licensing rules surrounding internet radio reveals how our current music licensing system can create nonsensical incentives for companies on both sides of the negotiating table.

The real reason for Pandora’s purchase of an FM radio station is Pandora’s royalty rate for musical compositions on its internet radio service. Note: this is a separate legal issue from the licensing Pandora pays for its use of sound recordings. The underlying musical composition gets its own copyright, and must be licensed in addition to the sound recording rights.

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Congressional Fight for Internet Radio: Round One Goes to Fairness!  Round Two, Consumers?

To the average observer Wednesday’s House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on Internet music royalties may have simply looked like a typical DC fight between large industry interests over how to split up a dollar.  While that may be partly true, it is also important to remember how these decisions can impact what music that we (the consumers) have access to and the choices we have in how we listen to it. Public Knowledge provided that voice of what is important for both consumers and artists through a written statement for the record.  However, the main event on Wednesday was the oral testimony by an industry-dominated panel, so lets get to the blow-by-blow.

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The Internet Radio Fairness Act: What It Means for Radio, Musicians, and You

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Last week we broke down the details of the Internet Radio Fairness Act, the recently proposed bill that aims to update the compulsory licenses for online radio services. This week we’ll be delving more into the real world impacts of IRFA.

At the end of the day, the proposals in IRFA are a good start toward promoting a healthy, competitive radio marketplace, but there are still a couple of missing pieces that the bill must include to truly be technology-neutral and to fairly balance the interests at stake in the radio marketplace.

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The Internet Radio Fairness Act: Revamping the Online Radio Marketplace

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Royalties for online radio and other digital music services are a prominent topic for today’s recorded music industry, and the discussion has only grown with the recent introduction of the Internet Radio Fairness Act in the House and Senate. IRFA aims to revamp the parts of the Copyright Act that create licenses for online radio services to pay for transmitting sound recordings to their users. More specifically, IRFA would change the standard by which online radio royalty rates are set, alter the qualifications and appointment procedures for the Copyright Royalty Judges, and make several more changes to the process of setting online radio royalties.

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