RIAA Exec: 2017 Will be a “Critical Year” for Music Law

musicWhich lawsuits will you be watching most closely in the coming year? 

2017 is shaping up to be a critical year for music law. The Copyright Royalty Tribunal will set the rates that SiriusXM will pay sound recording copyright owners during the years 2018-22. To date, SiriusXM has benefited from below market rates set by the CRB under the so-called 801(b) standard. This rate standard does not require a marketplace rate, and the cost to artists and labels over the last 10 years is in the hundreds of millions if not billions. The result: a subsidy for SiriusXM as it has built an enormously profitable business. SoundExchange, representing artists and labels, is trying to restore some balance so that SiriusXM pays rates more in line with those that would be negotiated in the market. SiriusXM is asking for rates to be reduced. The decision is due by December 2017.

As the music marketplace has transitioned to streaming, the industry is seeing a rise in services that enable “stream-ripping,” which essentially copy and download music from a service intended only for streaming music or music videos. Stream-ripping undermines both streaming and download services. After all, why bother subscribing to Spotify if you can download all the music from YouTube? The industry has taken action against the largest stream-ripping site in the world, youtube-mp3.org. The case should be underway in earnest next year.

Read Article: Hollywood Reporter

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