The Federal Court came to a unanimous judgement recently confirming that artists and record labels are entitled to seek licence fees from radio stations for music streamed via Internet simulcasts, which is a big win for artists and labels alike.
The PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) argued in court that Internet streaming of radio programs should be separately defined from a regular ‘broadcast’ under the Copyright Act. This means that now the PPCA seek a separate rate for Internet simulcasting.
PPCA CEO Dan Rosen said, “This is an important win for artists and labels whose music is used widely on the Internet to help drive profits for Australia’s radio industry. We have strongly argued that music streamed by radio stations on the web should be treated separately and is not a “broadcast” as defined by the Copyright Act and Broadcasting Services Act.
“Australia’s radio networks simulcast their leading programs via the web and on digital devices accompanied by advertisements and other revenue opportunities. As the range of devices increases, listening audiences and revenue opportunities are growing. Music is an essential component in all of this – it helps to attract audience numbers and build loyalty so it is important that artists and labels receive a fair share.
“Today’s decision overturns an earlier court ruling and delivers important clarity. It means we can now move forward with the radio industry to establish an appropriate commercial rate for this simulcast activity.”
The Federal Court ruling was: “A broadcasting service is the delivery, in a particular manner, of a radio program, consisting of matter intended to entertain, educate and inform. Thus the delivery of the radio program by transmission from a terrestrial transmitter is a different broadcasting service from the delivery of the same radio program using the internet.”