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David Oxenford: Chairman Wheeler to Step Down on Inauguration Day Leaving a Republican-Controlled FCC – What’s It Mean for Broadcasters?

by David Oxenford

In the most detailed and far-thinking report on Tom Wheeler’s resignation that we’ve seen, guest columnist and renowned broadcast attorney David Oxenford lays out what a Republican-controlled FCC could mean after Inauguration Day. Continue Reading

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DoJ announces consent decree decision: No change, plus a new rule

The U.S. Department of Justice has completed its much anticipated two-year review of consent decrees — decades-old laws which govern how ASCAP and BMI are permitted to license music on behalf of songwriters, composers, and publishers. The bottom line: No change, and a blow to the two major performing rights organizations (PROs) which have lobbied for more flexible control of rights management, especially in the streaming era. Continue Reading

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SoundExchange’s Annual Royalty Collections Approaching $1 Billion — Due to Pandora

by Angus MacDonald

Intellectual property attorney Angus MacDonald was the first to calculate that Pandora paid more than half of all SoundExchange collections of royalties to record labels. In this column, he calculates a higher percentage for 2015, noting that the growth of SoundExchange royalty collections is tied closely to Pandora, and that the pace is slowing. Continue Reading

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Deezer, Rhapsody reportedly react to David Lowery’s Spotify lawsuit

In the wake of David Lowery’s lawsuit against Spotify, other streaming services are now allegedly moving to protect themselves against similar actions. Both Deezer and Rhapsody have reportedly made moves related to Lowery’s catalogs with the bands Camper van Beethoven and Cracker. Continue Reading

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Copyright Royalty Board to NAB: Well done, but no dice

One of the most interesting aspects of the full determination just released by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) is the detailed argument put forward by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) that radio simulcasts should pay a lower music royalty rate than pureplay webcasting (e.g. Pandora). The copyright judges praised the NAB witness presentations, but ultimately rejected the attempt. Continue Reading

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CRB full decision released; small webcasters not mentioned

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) published its full determination, as expected following the very brief announcement of new webcast royalty rates on December 16. To whatever extent small webcasters cast a hopeful wish that the complete royalty rate decision would offer some sign of a special provision for low-revenue Internet radio, that hope is dashed. Continue Reading

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Kurt Hanson: “Bloody Sunday” decimates Internet radio

Internet radio’s landscape looks much different today than it did a week ago, due to numerous webcasters pulling the plug rather than paying the high rates of the Copyright Royalty Board’s (CRB) recent decision for 2016-20 royalties for sound recordings. Kurt Hanson surveys the damage. Continue Reading

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An Open Letter To David Byrne

by Bill Goldsmith

This open letter is from Bill Goldsmith, Founder and Owner of Radio Paradise, one of the most venerable and recognized Internet radio stations. It is an appeal to David Byrne, as a board member of SoundExchange, to renew royalty protections that have enabled small webcasting for the past six years. Continue Reading

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Live365 announces shut-down at the end of January

Live365 has informed at least some of its webcasters that it will be shutting down at the end of the month. The Internet radio hosting platform laid off the bulk of its staff and left its offices at the end of December, shortly after the Copyright Royalty Board decision about new rates, and the expiration of a law protecting small webcasters, sent shockwaves through the webcasting community. Continue Reading

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David Oxenford: CRB Set to Begin 3 New Royalty Proceedings – Mechanical Royalty, Sirius XM Satellite Royalty, and Noncommercial Broadcasting Over-the-Air Royalties

by David Oxenford

In tomorrow’s Federal Register, the Copyright Royalty Board will announce the commencement of three new proceedings to set music royalties for the 2018-2022 five-year period, each involving a different music right. Continue Reading

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Live365 suffers a collision of misfortunes, lays off most employees and vacates office

Live365, one of the most venerable brands in this industry, is affected by shifting regulations that change the cost of music on January. In addition, the company’s investors have pulled support from the company, forcing an immediate financial crisis. RAIN News has learned that as a result, nearly the entire staff was laid off this week. Continue Reading