The Copyright Tribunal starts next week

Staff Writer

The PPCA, representing Australian record companies, and CRA, representing commercial radio go to the Copyright Tribunal next Monday.

As we know, at beginning of 2014 all regional markets across the country, over 200 stations pulled the pin on their internet streams. Nearly all still have dead air online – more than 12 months later.

By February last year, 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.

Monday the 23rd see’s the first 5 day hearing with two more to follow and a resolution hopefully by the end of this year.

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.

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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