We have been following the ongoing saga that is the dispute-turned-litigation between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR) since late 2016, providing several updates along the way. What started as an impasse between a main representative of commercial radio stations in the country on music licensing issues (the RMLC) and a Performing Rights Organization representing the interests of copyright owners in musical works (GMR) has spawned a lawsuit filed by the RMLC alleging anti-competitive behavior by GMR, a countersuit by GMR alleging anti-competitive behavior by the RMLC, and a temporary rapprochement in the form of an interim license agreement that allows RMLC-represented stations to perform musical works in the GMR repertory.
The interim license agreement has been extended twice as the lawsuits are pending. The initial agreement ran from January 1, 2017 through September 30, 2017; it was extended under the same terms and conditions until March 31, 2018; a second extension kept the interim license agreement in place – again with the same terms and conditions – until September 30, 2018.
As the end of that second extension approaches and the underlying litigation continues, we have news of another (third) six month extension. According to a press release issued by the RMLC on August 17, 2018, GMR has offered to extend the interim license agreements currently in place. Those radio stations who extend will be covered by the interim licenses through March 31, 2019. Once again, the same terms and conditions will apply.
What do commercial radio stations need to do?
Stations currently performing musical works from the GMR catalog under an interim license: keep your eyes peeled for a communication from GMR. According to the RMLC, stations who have not been contacted by GMR by September 15, 2018 should proactively contact GMR – do NOT contact the RMLC – regarding the status of your license.
Stations that do not have an interim license with GMR (or perhaps haven’t even heard of GMR): contact an attorney to discuss whether you need the GMR interim license and, if so, how you can acquire that interim license.
As always, check this space for developments on both the RMLC-GMR licensing and litigation fronts.