Radio streaming battle in progress in Australia


Australia FlagA regional radio group in Australia was forced to cease simulcasting its stations’ programming over the internet unless it pays royalties for musical performances. The action was the result of a four-year legal battle which a court decided in favor of the recording industry.

According to The Australian, the battle hinged on the definition of “broadcast” and the court determined that the over-air programming aired by a radio station ceases to be a broadcast when it is streamed over the internet. And the streaming is liable for royalty payments.

The company in question is Grant Broadcasting, which pulled its internet programming in the aftermath of the court decision.

Commercial Radio Australia, that nation’s version of the NAB, is set to mount a lobbying campaign to seek a non-judicial remedy to broadcaster concerns.

The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia was the winner in the dispute, saying it was about time that broadcasters lost their “free kick” over the internet, using it to enhance listenership and profits without paying musicians.

For its part, Grant is urging listeners who used its streaming service to register their concerns with Federal Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull or their local representative in the Australian Parliament.