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BMI To Sue Pandora


The battle between Pandora and music publishers such as ASCAP and BMI just got a little more interesting and, for sure, will be heading to court. BMI has ended negotiations with Pandora and filed a lawsuit against the online music service (READ IT HERE). BMI also issued the following statement:

Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) filed an action in New York City today asking the Federal Rate Court to set royalty fees for Internet radio service Pandora on behalf of the organization's 600,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The action asks the court to set reasonable, market-driven fees for Pandora after negotiations did not result in an agreement. BMI represents the public performance copyright interest of its affiliates when their works are played across all venues, including the Internet, cable, broadcast television, and radio, satellite, and in nightclubs, bars, and other commercial establishments. BMI negotiated the first music industry blanket copyright license agreement for the performance of music online in 1995. Today, there are approximately 10,000 digital properties covered by BMI licenses. This is the first time the organization has resorted to litigation on fees in the digital arena in the 18 years since it signed the first music industry copyright license for the performance of music on the Internet.

Pandora responded to the action with the following statement just sent to Radio Ink: “Disputes regarding the reasonableness of fees between BMI and music users are adjudicated in federal court, just as disputes between ASCAP and music users. This process is required by the consent decrees both organizations agreed to after the U.S. Department of Justice sued them for anti-competitive behavior. We look forward to the court’s oversight of this matter.”

(6/14/2013 7:41:02 PM)
Hold on to any Pandora promotional swag - it's going to have some value pretty soon as a memento of a once promising venture.

- Ed
(6/13/2013 11:38:49 PM)
Pandora shouldn't be granted any exemptions or credits for owning a "terrestrial" Radio station, and in fact the entire "free ride" that broadcast stations currently enjoy should be canceled.
Why should there be three levels of royalty payments? It makes zero sense. I am currently locked out of the online streaming market by these ridiculous royalties and I see NO reason why Broadcast stations should not pay the same amount I must. This disparity is ludicrous, plus the "license to broadcast".

- Panama Jack
(6/13/2013 10:18:19 PM)
Artists, writers and composers want "spins" so that they can get paid in the same way radio wants audience and advertisers.

Since "the tunes" are the not raw material, but the finished product for music radio, a little overhead is to be expected.

- Ronald T. Robinson
(6/13/2013 9:36:17 PM)
Future of radio is over IP. Terrestrial Radio and Satellite should stop attacking Internet Radio / Pandora and help it secure lower and more reasonable rates. The license holders want to use the unreasonable rates they maneuvered on IP to then go and attack our Terrestrial radio. Supporting IP is future proofing. BMI is claiming that radio is not promotional anymore. Then why do artists want spins so badly? Unite radio people, Unite. Stop attacking each other and see the bigger picture.

- Joe B
(6/13/2013 6:51:29 PM)
We have always had good dealings with BMI and ASCAP. However, I would like to see some review of SESAC. They represented less than 2% of our titles and cost us monthly what BMI / ASCAP cost us per year.

We only operate one station so I hope this does not make these license bodies harder to work with in the future.


- I Stewart

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