Live365 goes to court over CRB


An internet music service contends that the life and death business implications of copyright regulation are far too weighty for an obscure board selected by a library, even if it is the prestigious Library of Congress, and it’s taking its case to court.

According to the Blog of Legal Times, Live365 believes it has a constitutional case concerning the constitution of the three-member Copyright Royalty Board and is taking the matter to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The challenge is over the power of the librarian of Congress to appoint members to a board that wields so much power. In constitutional terms, the legislative branch is able to create government offices, but the executive determines who populates them, with Senate confirmation, and it is being argued that CRB should be in that category, with members nominated by the White House and confirmed by the Senate.

As a matter of fact, during the earlier battles in court over digital/internet royalties, a judge at that court, Brett Kavanaugh, suggested that the matter might not pass muster under the appointments clause. He noted that billions of dollars and make-or-break power over entire industries warranted serious input over who serves there.

RBR/TVBR observation: The lack of professionalism of the CRB has been painfully obvious in the digital sphere. The rates were set ridiculously high from the outset and that misjudgment has given RIAA the upper hand ever since, making it nigh unto impossible for the internet music business, including radio streaming, to even get off the ground.