The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), on behalf of Ausralian recording artists and recording labels, has launched a constitutional case in the High Court challenging 40 year old legislation which limits the price that commercial radio industry pays for the recordings it broadcasts.
The High Court will be asked to examine a price cap contained in section 152(8) of the Copyright Act that was introduced in 1969. The price cap limits the amount Australian commercial stations can be required to pay to artists and labels to no more than 1 per cent of a broadcaster’s gross income, well below rates typically paid by radio elsewhere around the world.
The commercial radio sector now earns revenue of up to a billion dollars a year, but the price cap means that the sector in total pays just $4 million dollars for all the recordings played each year on Australia’s 261 commercial radio stations.
The Australian constitution requires that any law effecting an acquisition of property – such as a licence of copyright – must be on just terms.
PPCA’s case will center on an arbitrary price cap fails to meet the “just terms” test, particularly given the exsistence of an independent price regulator in the Copyright Tribunal.
You can read the full media release here. Or stay tuned to this space as MusicNSW follows the case.