That’s a question noted Washington, D.C. communications attorney David Oxenford asks.
Oxenford shared details of a new joint letter posted on the Radio Music License Committee website in a blog post penned Friday by the Wilkinson Barker Knauer partner. In the letter, it is stated that GMR and the RMLC are discussing a settlement of their long-running litigation over the royalties that the commercial radio industry will pay for the public performance of music written by GMR composers.
GMR earlier this year extended their interim license offered to commercial radio stations once again. However, it came with “a substantial increase” in the amount that stations needed to pay to remain licensed during the litigation, Oxenford points out.
The new joint letter states that the interim license will be extended for another three months while the parties work on this possible settlement. “Stations will not receive any direct notice about the need to extend their licenses from GMR,” Oxenford says. Instead, stations are to go to the GMR website at https://globalmusicrights.com/interimextension to complete a form to remain licensed after the end of December.
The interim licenses have been signed because, over the last few years, GMR has been engaged in litigation with RMLC over whether GMR should be subject to any sort of antitrust regulation of the rates that it sets, Oxenford writes. “GMR has filed a countersuit over whether the RMLC itself violates the antitrust rules as a buyer’s cartel, by allegedly organizing all the buyers of GMR’s music to hold out for a specific price,” he explains.
A possible settlement would end any litigation. Is that on the horizon? “The joint letter looks like good news, as it indicates that some final resolution of GMR royalties may soon be at hand,” Oxenford concludes.