The judge presiding over the royalty litigation between BMI and the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) on March 23 approved a settlement between these parties.
But, as Wilkinson Barker Knauer partner David Oxenford notes, the settlement of this case still leaves many other music royalty issues for commercial radio broadcasters.
With the March 23 order that settles the differences between BMI and the RMLC, the judge approved an order keeping the specifics of the approved settlement confidential for 30 days while the settlement is being implemented, Oxenford says.
As such, we don’t know the specific deals.
What is certain is that it does not clear all rights to podcast music.
“The litigation was over the music royalties to be paid by the commercial radio industry to BMI for the public performance of musical compositions which BMI licenses,” Oxenford says.
What about those other music royalty issues radio faces?
“Many of these are supposed to be resolved this year but with the upending of the economy by the [coronavirus] pandemic and its impact on the operations of broadcasters and other organizations involved in these issues, who knows when these issues will be decided,” Oxenford says.
The issues include the resolution or arbitration of a new three-year agreement with SESAC; and the ongoing litigation with Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights (GMR).
Also pending is “a broad review by the Department of Justice of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees governing the compositions licensed by those organizations,” Oxenford says.
“In this time of great uncertainty throughout the economy, these many important music royalty issues remain pending for the radio industry,” he concludes.
We invite you to read David Oxenford’s blog post on this subject in it’s entirety.