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February 17, 2012

No extra fees for radio simulcasts

In Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Ltd v Commercial Radio Australia Limited [2012] FCA 93 the Federal Court of Australia decided that the existing licence which permits members of CRA to broadcast PPCA Sound Recordings in Australia encompasses within its scope the playing of such recordings in both the FM radio programs delivered to the public using the broadcasting services bands and in the same radio programs delivered simultaneously to the public via the Internet.

UPDATE 3 April 2013: Appeal upheld by Full Federal Court: broadcasting over the internet is a distinct broadcasting service from radio.

Justice Foster said: " The service which transmits the very same radio programs at essentially the same time both to the FM transmitters and beyond and to the web stream servers and beyond is the one service. On the facts before me, the members of CRA who stream their radio programs on the Internet do so only as part of a program package which also simultaneously transmits those programs via frequency modulated radio waves to the consumer’s FM receiver. In truth, the service is but one service being a service which combines various delivery methods or platforms and which delivers the same radio program using the broadcasting services band."

Radio stations will not have to pay an additional fee to simulcast over the internet.

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Posted 17th February 2012 by admin in Legal