Australia's commercial radio stations won't have to pay out extra royalties for online "simulcasting" of recorded music following an important ruling last week from the country's Federal Court.
Recording companies' collecting society PPCA had sought a declaration from the court that Internet streaming of radio programs - or simulcasting -- should not be regarded as a "broadcast" under the country's Copyright Act and should there be subject to a separate music tariff.
The court, however, sided with Commercial Radio Australia. In a Feb. 15 decision, the court found that simulcasts are a broadcast within the definition of that term in the Copyright Act.
PPCA had launched legal action in June 2010 and will consider an appeal.
"We are disappointed by this ruling on a technical point relating to internet streaming but will continue to work hard for a better deal for artists and labels," comments PPCA CEO Dan Rosen.
"Australia remains out of step with other jurisdictions such as the U.K., Canada and New Zealand where radio operators pay significantly higher license fees."
CRA did not respond to requests for a comment at deadline.
The PPCA and CRA are no strangers to jousting in the country's courts. Back in February 2010, the PPCA began a constitutional case in Australia's High Court challenging the 40-year-old price cap which determines the commercial sector's licensing fees. Australia's High Court has reserved a decision on that separate challenge.