February 26, 2009

Senate Proposes Royalties for Broadcast Sound Recordings

A new bill has been introduced in the Senate that would require over-the-air radio broadcasters to pay royalties for performances of sound recordings. Radio already pays royalties to composers for the music they broadcast, but since the advent of radio, stations have not been required to pay royalties to the performing artists or record labels. The new bill would give sound recording copyright holders the right to control performances of their recordings, but would set up a compulsory license under which radio stations would be able to perform sound recordings pursuant to agreed-upon rates.

By Bruce G. Joseph and Matthew J. Astle, Wiley Rein LLP (2/20/09)