CRB trial proceeding extended beyond original end dates

gavel canvasThe Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rate-setting process, currently in the trial phase, did not conclude on Friday as originally scheduled. Instead, broadcast law attorney David Oxenford tols RAIN News, the proceeding will continue for three days this week. “Things moved slower than expected,” Oxenford said in an email.

Testimony will conclude on Wednesday. Then, because of existing schedules after Wednesday, closing arguments cannot happen immediately — they have been postponed until┬áJuly 21.

That July 21 session will conclude a five-week trial process, which followed a lengthy period of filing written arguments and rebuttals. At stake is the cost of recorded music to webcasters for five years beginning next January 1. the CRB is charged with the task of ruling on the sharply opposed viewpoints held by recorded music rights-holders on one side, and Internet radio operators on the other.

The arguments which inform this crucial case are polarized by SoundExchange on one side, which collects royalties for record labels and argues for higher rates, and Pandora, the largest single webcaster in the U.S., which contributes more than half of all SoundExchange collections and argues for lower rates.

The CRB could issue its ruling at any time following the trial conclusion, but most observers expect a December announcement.

Brad Hill