Copyright Tribunal back on today

Staff Writer

The PPCA, representing Australian record companies, and CRA, representing commercial radio head back to the Copyright Tribunal today.

It’s getting down to the pointy end as both parties put forward their arguments this week before the Tribunal passes judgment.

At the start of 2014 the commercial radio industry drew a line in the sand, as all regional markets across the country pulled the pin on their internet streams. Nearly all still have dead air online – nearly 18 months later.

For its part the PPCA applied to the Copyright Tribunal for a timetable to pursue a final scheme for a fee structure for the online streaming of radio stations.

There is a lot riding on this one for the industry and it has the potential to impact others including Community radio and the ABC and SBS.

While the Tribunal hearings play out, it’s not appropriate for our peak industry body to pass comment on the process until the Copyright Tribunal outcomes are finalised. However, late last year we did ask Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio, about internet streaming and how CRA was approaching the issue with the government at the time.

“We are still talking to the government about giving some support to local radio on this matter, because essentially what is happening is we are being asked to pay twice for something we have already paid for.

We pay for the music we use in the broadcast, and we are not saying we shouldn’t pay for that; but now they are asking us to pay twice, a second and a higher fee for an exact simulcast live free to air. And that is just double dipping.”


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