HITS Daily Double
"They reached the right conclusion as a matter of law and sensible policy."
—--RIAA head Hilary Rosen, on USCO Ruling


Offline Stations' Webcasts Not Exempt From Licensing Royalties, USCO Rules
The RIAA added another notch to its belt today. Billboard Bulletin will say so tomorrow.

The U.S. Copyright Office handed the industry yet another legal victory by ruling that the online simulcasts of terrestrial radio stations were subject to licensing royalties, Reuters reports.

Purely net-based stations crowed over the decision, since it ostensibly levels the online-radio playing field. But when it comes to crowing, no one can touch RIAA chief Hilary Rosen. Take it away, Hil.

"We are gratified the U.S. Copyright Office agreed with our position," reads a quote from Rosen cited in the Reuters report. "They reached the right conclusion as a matter of law and sensible policy. And now nobody has to go to jail or be stretched on the rack."

The National Association of Broadcasters fought to prevent this outcome, arguing that licensing fees for netcasts would represent an undue financial burden.

The RIAA, meanwhile, has been negotiating individual licenses with an array of online entities (see story, 4/19).

Numerous web outlets of offline stations pulled their streams recently to avoid paying talent fees for the broadcast ads those streams included, but got their streams back online after employing technology that removed the ads.