Federal Appeals Court Rejects DiMA Petition

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The federal Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) previously put into place severe new royalty payments required of broadcasters playing music. That brought on an urgent DiMA petition for a stay that would defer retroactive fees that would put many Internet radio stations out of business. A federal appeals court has declined to grant that petition.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that the opponents of the fees, "have not satisfied the stringent standards required for a stay pending court review." The story was carried by C|Net.

The Digital Media Association (DiMA) which represents members like Live365 and Pandora, has been carrying on this battle to preserve the viability of Internet radio. Jonathan Potter, the DiMA executive director said that he was hopeful a compromise could still be reached.

The new fees go into effect July 15th.

DiMA pointed out that the new fees could cost the largest Internet radio operators, Yahoo, RealNetworks, and Pandora more than US$1B in the first year. Some stations will be "forced to make very difficult decisions about what music, if any, they are able to offer," Mr. Potter said.

Now, the only recourse is legislation that would overturn the CRBis ruling. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) is a sponsor of just such legislation, and for now, legislation instigated by consumers and constituents seems to be the only hope for saving Internet radio in its current form.

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