CRA lose appeal, radio to pay separate streaming fees

Staff Writer

Back in February the Federal Court ruled that artists and record labels could now seek licence fees from radio stations for music streamed via their websites (see our earlier story here).

The ruling stated, "A broadcasting service is the delivery, in a particular manner, of a radio program, consisting of matter intended to entertain, educate and inform. Thus the delivery of the radio program by transmission from a terrestrial transmitter is a different broadcasting service from the delivery of the same radio program using the internet."

Comments from you at the time said :-

Commercial Radio Australia appealed the decision but the Australian High Court has now rejected their appeal.

PPCA CEO Dan Rosen said: “This puts an end to the legal wrangling over payment for recorded music streamed on the internet. It confirms radio stations must pay a licence fee for streamed music and we hope to move quickly to work out a fair and proper licensing deal. We look forward to working with radio to establish equitable arrangements."

A new licence for streamed music will not be bound by the current statutory cap which limits the maximum amount commercial radio can be asked to pay for broadcasting music to 1% of their gross income.

PPCA is continuing its campaign to scrap this 1% cap. Recently the Australian Law Reform Commission released a discussion paper as part of the Copyright and the Digital Economy inquiry and concluded, “there appears to be a strong case for repeal of the one per cent cap.”

Rosen also said, “For too long radio has had a free kick-driving listening audience numbers and profits via the internet while not paying artists fairly for use of their recordings.”

Any new music licence fees, whether for broadcast or internet streaming, will be either agreed by negotiation or set by the independent Copyright Tribunal.

CRA are yet to comment on the ruling.

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