The Australian High Court has ruled in favour of artists and recording labels and rejected an application by Commercial Radio Australia for a leave application that internet streaming simulcasts be covered by existing broadcast licences.
The four-year court battle means that radio stations will have to pay a separate broadcast fee to stream their on-air programs.
The High Court has confirmed the earlier Federal Court ruling finding internet simulcasts fall outside of the definition of “broadcast” under the Copyright Act.
PPCA CEO Dan Rosen sees the ruling as the end of commercial radio’s online “free kick”. “This puts an end to the legal wrangling over payment for recorded music streamed on the internet,” Rosen said in a statement. “It confirms radio stations must pay a licence fee for streamed music and we hope to move quickly to work out a fair and proper licensing deal. We look forward to working with radio to establish equitable arrangements.
“For too long radio has had a free kick – driving listening audience numbers and profits via the internet while not paying artists fairly for use of their recordings.”
Radio stations have used the legal loop-hole to broadcast online using the 1% of their gross income cap determined under their commercial radio license agreement.
PPCA is also attempting to scrap the 1% cap and has been making progress with the Copyright and the Digital Economy inquiry concluding, “there appears to be a strong case for repeal of the one per cent cap.”
All new music license fees are agreed by negotiation or set by the independent Copyright Tribunal.
Stay updated with your free Noise11 daily music newsletter. Subscribe to Noise11 Music News here