Karyn K. Ablin

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Pre-1972 Fight with a Twist: Georgia Supreme Court Exempts Internet Streaming from State Record Piracy Statute

(Court also compares Internet Radio to Terrestrial Under State Law) A Georgia Supreme Court decision on a narrow issue relating to the use of pre-1972 sound recordings creates an interesting new topic for discussion in this area, even as the holding in this case is itself necessarily limited to Georgia. The case is iHeartMedia v.Sheridan, … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Gives Belated Valentine’s Day Gift to Music Licensees by Ruling for Sirius XM Regarding Its Use of Pre-72 Sound Recordings

We previously told you about the Christmas gift that New York’s highest state court had given to licensees that play “oldies” recordings by finding that the owners of those recordings had no right to demand payment when the recordings were publicly performed in New York.  That ruling came in one of many lawsuits that Flo … Continue Reading

Webcaster Wake Up Call!

SoundExchange reports, payments due soon On February 2nd the groundhog best known as “Punxsutawney Phil” will be plucked from the comfort of his underground lair and ceremoniously asked to “predict” the end of winter.  Of course, this tradition was memorably portrayed in the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” in which Bill Murray’s Phil Connors relives a … Continue Reading

Radio Music License Committee and Global Music Rights Reach Interim License Agreement

(Stations Fearing a Difficult Choice Before January 1 now have until January 31 to opt in to an interim license agreement and continue playing GMR songs through September.) If you are a radio station, especially a commercial radio station primarily playing music, you are probably aware of the dueling lawsuits filed by the Radio Music … Continue Reading

Merry Christmas to the Licensee Community from New York! Appeals Court Holds No New York Performance Right in Sound Recordings

In what comes as an early Christmas gift for those who play “oldies” music – think Sirius XM Radio, radio broadcasters, and webcasters – and coal in the stockings of the owners of those recordings, New York’s highest state court ruled today that New York does not recognize a public performance right in sound recordings. … Continue Reading

Noncommercial Broadcasters Receive Welcome Reporting News

Copyright Royalty Judges Reinstate Reporting Relief for Most Noncommercial Broadcasters You may recall that in August 2016, we reported that the Copyright Royalty Judges had proposed to modify the rules governing how noncommercial broadcasters are supposed to report the sound recordings that they stream to SoundExchange. That proposal was published at the urging of the … Continue Reading

GMR Strikes Back

We previously informed you about the Radio Music License Committee’s (RMLC) antitrust lawsuit filed against the “fourth” performing rights organization (“PRO”), Global Music Rights (“GMR”) for engaging in anticompetitive conduct designed to drive up music licensing prices.  Now, GMR has filed an antitrust lawsuit of its own in a different federal court against the RMLC. … Continue Reading

RMLC Seeks to Subject GMR to the Same Competitive Restraints Governing ASCAP’s, BMI’s, and SESAC’s Licensing Practices

We have previously written here, here, here, and here about the Radio Music License Committee’s (“RMLC’s”) successful attempt to impose on SESAC some of the same competitive restrictions that limit ASCAP’s and BMI’s ability to demand inflated license prices for publicly performing the musical compositions of their members. It was only a matter of time … Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Judges Propose To Clarify Streaming Reporting Rules for Noncommercial Broadcasters

Proposed change would include noncommercial broadcasters among “Eligible Minimum Fee Webcasters.” It looks like noncommercial broadcasters who stream may be in for a little more clarity in their reporting responsibilities. The Copyright Royalty Judges (we’ll call them “Judges” here) have proposed to modify the rules governing how those broadcasters are supposed to report the sound … Continue Reading

DOJ Makes it Official: No Change to ASCAP/BMI Consent Decrees

Siding with music users, DOJ concludes that Decrees call for “full-work” – rather than “fractional” – music licensing; ASCAP and BMI head to court and Congress.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has formally closed its two-year-long review of the decades-old ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees. Those Decrees mandate federal court oversight of the rates … Continue Reading
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