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Yahoo wins case, does not have to pay Internet radio royalties

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 24 Aug 2009 0:15 User comments (10)

Yahoo wins case, does not have to pay Internet radio royalties A New York appeals court has ruled in favor of Yahoo this weekend, claiming its Launchcast Internet radio service is not required to pay royalties to copyright holders for songs it plays. The losing party was Sony BMG Music.
The claim by Yahoo was that Launchcast did not give users enough controls to be considered "an interactive service," which would require the royalty fees to be paid.

The judges added that Yahoo would only have to pay licensing fees to SoundExchange, the nonprofit organization that collects royalties for musicians.

"It's an immediate loss for the recording industry," notes Rey Sanchez, chairman of the department of music, media and industry at the University of Miami and a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, via Reuters.

"If the service had been deemed interactive, Yahoo would have to negotiate fees with every record label to use their songs. Instead, it only has to pay licensing fees."


Sony declined comment while Yahoo said nothing more than that they were pleased with the "fair" ruling.

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10 user comments

124.8.2009 0:32
llongtheD
Inactive

I think this was a no brainer.
If I'm not mistaken, didn't bands in the "old days" WANT to have their music played on the radio? Kind of like free advertisement isn't it?
Yes I know this was internet radio, but was sony worried about someone capturing one of these glitched streams?
The truth is the record companies have become so sue happy, they'd sue if you didn't play their stuff. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Hopefully their greed will one day catch up with them.

224.8.2009 3:15

I'm in no way in favor of the big music corps, but I am in support of the underground artists. The problem here is, unlike what you will hear from main stream socialist media....the radio stations we listen to and love in fm and am, actually do pay royalties towards the artists they play songs of. These royalties however, are paid usually directly from the advertising companies they plug during commercial breaks. Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't the same method apply towards internet radio? If not commercials, then the royalties should be paid by the pop-ups and internet radio site advertising windows. Again, I'm not for the greedy music corps, but in the end, it's the artists themselves that will lose out. Yahoo seams to be able to do no wrong, no matter what the issue. If I didn't know any better, I'de say that Yahoo was using Microsoft as a business model!

324.8.2009 3:29

Hmmm Sony is a member of soundexchange as are the studios & since they hold the licence's one would assume they will get a slice anyway just not as much as they were hoping for

424.8.2009 5:23
pphoenix
Inactive

At last a Judge sees a little sense & stopped bending over for sony and the rest of the scum media corporations.

DanandJen:

have you heard of sony payola? sony paid radio stations to block indie music and play only RIAA affiliated trash?(google it) & if that wasn't bad enough to destroy indie competition you have this:

Is it justified to steal from thieves? READ ON.


RIAA Claims Ownership of All Artist Royalties For Internet Radio
http://slashdot.org/articles/07/04/29/0335224.shtml

"With the furor over the impending rate hike for Internet radio stations, wouldn't a good solution be for streaming internet stations to simply not play RIAA-affiliated labels' music and focus on independent artists? Sounds good, except that the RIAA's affiliate organization SoundExchange claims it has the right to collect royalties for any artist, no matter if they have signed with an RIAA label or not. 'SoundExchange (the RIAA) considers any digital performance of a song as falling under their compulsory license. If any artist records a song, SoundExchange has the right to collect royalties for its performance on Internet radio. Artists can offer to download their music for free, but they cannot offer their songs to Internet radio for free ... So how it works is that SoundExchange collects money through compulsory royalties from Webcasters and holds onto the money. If a label or artist wants their share of the money, they must become a member of SoundExchange and pay a fee to collect their royalties.'"

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/4/24/141326/870


scorpNZ:


RIAA, CRIA, SOUNDEXCHANGE, BPI, IFPI, Ect:

# Sony BMG Music Entertainment
# Warner Music Group
# Universal Music Group
# EMI

MPAA, MPA, FACT, AFACT, Ect:

# Sony Pictures
# Warner Bros. (Time Warner)
# Universal Studios (NBC Universal)
# The Walt Disney Company
# 20th Century Fox (News Corporation)
# Paramount Pictures Viacom—(DreamWorks owners since February 2006)


Until artists & customers are given a fair deal, all the above companies should be avoided as much as possible as they are scum, purchase only second hand media and Sony hardware, if you have to at all, drive their profits down until they are forced to change just as Nike had to change it's business strategy.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Aug 2009 @ 5:34

524.8.2009 9:05

pphoenix, interesting! What Sony will never figure out is not many persons like RIAA affiliated trash. I do not like to listen to it and I will surely not buy it.

624.8.2009 12:47

And another blow to Sony and the RIAA...I just hope the day when were able to do things freely on youtube again without RIAA and Sony and everyone take videos down...Hell even music that is not royalty like Movie Soundtracks are now Royalty when they were Royalty FREE...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Aug 2009 @ 12:48

724.8.2009 14:27

Ouch seems Sony shot themselves in the foot..lol..

Sony loses bid to force royalties out of webcaster
Posted by Richard Koman @ August 24, 2009 @ 12:57 AM

Categories: Government technology

Tags: Sony Corp., Predictability, Advertising & Promotion, Digital Media, Marketing..., Consumer Electronics, Personal Technology, Richard Koman

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On the hunt for money to beef up their rapidly deteriorating industry, the Big Four record labels sued LAUNCH, owned by Yahoo, and currently operated by CBS Radio (CBS also owns ZDNet). Their gripe: LAUNCH lets users create channels by genre and skip songs they don’t like. This, they claimed, made it an “interactive service” for purposes of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Follow the money: If LAUNCH is interactive, then Yahoo (and thus, Pandora, and any damn webradio service in the world that lets you create “stations” or “channels”) would have to pay individual performance royalties for every song played. Big bucks for the RIAA! If not, they get “only” the statutory royalties set by the Copyright Royalty Board.

They lost at trial but Sony appealed. And lost, Reuters reports. And wasn’t this a brilliant move, Ray Beckerman points out:

Had there been no appeal, all there would have been is a jury verdict, which in any other case could have been explained away as being based on, and limited to, a jury’s conclusion as to the facts of the Launch Media case. But SONY just had to pursue its appeal, resulting in a 42-page appellate decision holding that “as a matter of law” a personalized internet radio station of the type provided by Launch Media is NOT interactive, no matter what the jury might have found. This decision now creates a safe harbor for a whole industry and business model. Thank you SONY!

So, what’s an interactive service? According to the law, one “that enables a member of the public to receive a transmission of a program specially created for the recipient, or on request, a transmission of a particular sound recording which is selected by or on behalf of the recipient.”

Non-interactive services’ “primary purpose . . . is to provide to the public such audio or other entertainment programming.”

It’s not so simple as, can you request Mr. Tambourine Man? The House report for the DMCA, which updated the definition of “interactive service” indicated:

If a transmission recipient has the ability to move forward and backward between songs in a program, the transmission is interactive. It is not necessary that the transmission recipient be able to select the actual songs that comprise the program.

The question turns on what Congress meant by “specially created.” The court looked at the legislative history, Congress’s concerns, etc., and decided that the salient issue is not whether the user can request a song, but whether the service provides a “degree of predictability – based on choices made by the user – that approximates the predictability the music listener seeks when purchasing music.”

After a long and tedious description of LAUNCH’s workings, the court concludes that there’s nothing predictable about LAUNCH - a user can’t expect to hear specific music on his or her channel. Indeed:

LAUNCHcast listeners do not even enjoy the limited predictability that once graced the AM airwaves on weekends in America when “special requests” represented love-struck adolescents’ attempts to communicate their feelings to “that special friend.” Therefore, we cannot say LAUNCHcast falls within the scope of the DMCA’s definition of an interactive service created for individual users.


http://government.zdnet.com/?p=5290&tag=nl.e539

831.8.2009 13:22

My understanding is that AM/FM radio stations do not pay any royalties whatsoever. Advertising companies only pay royalties if they use a song *IN* their commercial...they certainly don't pay royalties for the music played by the AM/FM stations. This is the whole point of the Internet radio vs traditional radio lawsuits.

Link some proof that AM/FM radio stations pay royalties?

931.8.2009 13:49

They don't yet but the bill in the US has been passed saying that they will. The stations claimed victory because it was drastically cut. Still it might but many out of business.

1031.8.2009 19:57

Originally posted by IguanaC64:
My understanding is that AM/FM radio stations do not pay any royalties whatsoever. Advertising companies only pay royalties if they use a song *IN* their commercial...they certainly don't pay royalties for the music played by the AM/FM stations. This is the whole point of the Internet radio vs traditional radio lawsuits.

Link some proof that AM/FM radio stations pay royalties?
Only mention i could find was this but like you say the commercials pay,tho i'm not sure about the Europeans
http://radio.about.com/od/miscellaneous/a/aa122904a.htm

If you think that's bad,there's a horse stud in NZ that has been told that the music played over the speakers for the workers to listen too is breach of copyright even tho it's a radio station that's being played,the reason is there's more than 1 person listening to it so becomes a public broadcast by that company,so in effect if you play a house stereo that neighbours can hear you can be sued by the recording industry,so when your cell phone goes off you are in effect in breach of copyright coz others can listen to it & no i ain't kid'n

Nothing to do with royalties but how about a pirate radio station
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Hauraki
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Aug 2009 @ 20:01

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