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Webcasters' oral argument in CRB appeal set for March 19

Posted on: 01/27/2009

Some progress to report in webcasters’ appeal of the 2007 CRB determination on performance royalties (RAIN coverage here) for the 2006-2010 period: webcasters’ oral argument is scheduled for March 19.

Unsuccessful in petitioning the Copyright Royalty Board to rehear the case that led to the determination, and failing in an emergency stay of the rate decision, webcasters filed an appeal of the decision in federal court on May 30, 2007 (coverage here). This past October, Congress passed the Webcaster Settlement Act (here), enabling SoundExchange to negotiate industry-wide royalty settlements with different classes of webcasters until February 15th.

The appeal is considered a last-resort effort for webcasters, who put far more hope in a negotiated settlement with the record inudstry. “If no settlement under the Webcaster Settlement Act is reached before the February 15 deadline, the case will go on,” D.C. attorney and industry expert David Oxenford (pictured) told RAIN. “Even though the argument will be held in March, a final decision by the Court will likely not be released for several months after the argument.”

Representatives for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and other public radio indeed reached a settlement with SoundExchange (announced January 15, coverage here), upon which public broadcasters dropped their appeal of the CRB decision.

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