Archives: Intellectual Property

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Attention Commercial Radio Stations: Upcoming Deadline for Eligible Stations to Receive Retroactive Refund of Certain SESAC License Fees

If you are a commercial radio station that authorized the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) to represent you in negotiations and litigation against SESAC, then you need to act quickly to receive the full fruits of the RMLC’s labor. Unless you return an executed copy of the RMLC-SESAC radio license to SESAC by March 26, … Continue Reading

Commercial Broadcasters March Toward a Second Extension of GMR Interim License

Over the past 14 months, we’ve kept our readers updated on the music licensing fight between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR). This, of course, started when the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on the terms of a license that would allow the commercial radio stations represented by the … Continue Reading

Rates to Perform Musical Compositions in 2018-2022 Published for Noncommercial Broadcasters

Attention, noncommercial educational (NCE, a/k/a “public”) broadcasters! If you have been wondering how much you’ll have to pay to broadcast musical compositions this year (and beyond), wonder no more. The rates for 2018 through 2022 were published in the Federal Register on January 19. For those new to the issue, these rates have been administered … Continue Reading

Shutdown Any Unauthorized Use of Trademarks

While many outside the nation’s capital were engrossed in this weekend’s football games, those inside the beltway were engrossed in their own local sport: politics (especially because D.C.’s team – who shall remain nameless even as that name may be trademarked – hasn’t played for the Lombardi trophy in 26 years). Specifically, “Shutdown” was THE … Continue Reading

‘Here Comes the Sun…’ Federal Magistrate Recommends that RMLC Lawsuit Against GMR be Moved to California

It was around this time last year that one of the most closely watched fights in music licensing history – if not copyright generally – went to the next level as the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) sued Global Music Rights (GMR). The RMLC lawsuit alleges that Irving Azoff-founded newest Performing Rights Organization (PRO), was … Continue Reading

Do You Know Where Your Domain Names Are?

At CommLawBlog, we follow domain name issues closely. Unlike lightning, we find two recurring problems striking regularly. These problematic issues are: the failure to renew domain names and a continuing tendency to register valuable domain names in someone else’s name. While both may seem innocuous, they can cause major problems down the line.  Let’s took … Continue Reading

Halloween Tricks for Flo & Eddie and Treats for SiriusXM

Florida Finds No Public Performance Right in Pre-1972 Sound Recordings   If you have been following the ongoing saga regarding the attempts of pre-1972 (aka “oldies”) sound recording owners to collect royalties when those recordings are performed, you will know that some recent key court rulings have been issued near major holidays. For example, New … Continue Reading

Limited Registration Period for .RADIO Domain Names Ends Oct.31, 2017 – The Time to Register Is Now!

Now until Oct. 31, 2017, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is offering a “Special Limited Registration Period” – a pre-launch opportunity for the registration of .RADIO domain names by radio broadcasters, radio professional, radio amateurs, Internet radios, and radio-related companies. Call letters, corporate names, on-air personality names, and even slogans can all be registered as … Continue Reading

Commercial Radio Stations Offered Opportunity to Extend Interim License with GMR

No sooner did we report an update on the dispute between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR), do we have another update to share.  Only this time, the update: (1) is less wonky/more practical, (2) is good news for commercial radio stations, and (3) requires action by affected stations.… Continue Reading

RMLC Seeks PI; Attempts to Stay in PA, Avoid CA

(As end of GMR Interim License Period Approaches, fight over GMR’s refusal to deal with Pennsylvania radio stations has implications for others around the country) We’ve written (and talked) plenty about the fight between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) – which represents the interests of the commercial radio industry in negotiating licenses with performing … Continue Reading

Independent Decisionmakers Reduce SESAC’s Commercial Radio License Rate by Tens of Millions of Dollars

(Stations will pay 60% less than old SESAC rate card) While the fight between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR) has captured music licensing headlines in 2016 and 2017 (including here at Commlawblog), it has previously been RMLC v. SESAC which stole the show.  (Recall that until GMR came on … Continue Reading

Slants Supreme Court Case Slays Ban on Registration of Disparaging Trademarks

I am officially a big fan of The Slants.  I’ve never seen them in concert.  I don’t own any of their albums (I’ve never even downloaded any of their individual songs).  I’m actually still not entirely sure what “Chinatown Dance Rock” really is. But I will forever be indebted to Simon Shiao Tam and crew.  … Continue Reading

Countdown Clock Ticking on Digital Millennium Copyright Act Designated Agent Registrations

(Registered agent contact information must be ELECTRONICALLY filed with the Copyright Office by December 31, 2017) How much is peace of mind worth to you? Does $6.00 and less than an hour of your time sound about right? What if I told you that this alone would significantly reduce the likelihood that you will be … Continue Reading

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

FilmOn X Loses in Latest Bid to be a Cable System

Ninth Circuit is the latest to say that Internet-based services are not cable systems. Remember Aereo? Sure you do, if you were a regular CommLawBlog reader pretty much anytime between 2012 and 2015. Aereo was the upstart looking to revolutionize the way cord-cutters watched TV: its dime-sized antennas were designed to receive and capture local … 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

.RADIO Domain Names Available Soon, But Many Unanswered Questions about Availability

After many years of preparation, the roll-out of .RADIO domain names will finally be underway shortly. The news has potential for broadcasters worldwide (for example, you could have Nashvillehits.radio as your URL.) Yet there are many unanswered questions about how .RADIO domain names will be allocated and what happens when multiple parties want the same … 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

Copyright Office DMCA Proceeding Asks: It’s 2016, so why are we Copyrighting Like It’s 1999?

(Notice of Inquiry latest opportunity to weigh in on the future of the DMCA Safe Harbor) “I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast…” Those are lyrics from the dearly beloved and extremely talented musician Prince’s epic 1982 hit “1999” from the album of the same name.  He … Continue Reading
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