National Religious Broadcasters Noncommercial Music License Committee v. CRB

Docket Number: 21-1243
Judge: Per Curiam
Opinion Date: July 28, 2023

Every five years, the Copyright Royalty Board (the “Board”) issues a statutory license that establishes the terms and rates under which certain entities that stream copyrighted songs over the internet make royalty payments to the songs’ copyright owners. The “webcasters” that are subject to the license are “noninteractive” — i.e., they stream music without letting their listeners choose songs on demand. This appeal challenges on various grounds the Board’s most recent noninteractive webcaster license Final Determination, covering calendar years 2021 through 2025.
The DC Circuit sustained Board’s Final Determination in all respects. The court held that the Board’s decision to set a royalty rate that was slightly below the Willig model’s flawed opportunity-cost measure is neither here nor there. And thus, the court explained, it has no occasion to decide, as SoundExchange urges, whether it would, as a matter of law, violate the willing buyer/willing seller standard for the Board to set a royalty rate below some definitive measure of opportunity cost. View “National Religious Broadcasters Noncommercial Music License Committee v. CRB” on Justia Law

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