In a move to change issues related to the timing of late fees on mechanical payments - established by the U.S. Copyright Board in its Oct. 2 determination on royalty payments - the RIAA has filed a motion for the court to reconsider its decision to establish such penalties.
As part of its Oct. 17 filing, it asked the court to hold its motion in abeyance for 20 days while it negotiates with copyright owners, like the National Music Publishers' Assn., the Songwriters Guild of America and the Nashville Songwriters Assn. International, and the Digital Media Assn.
The parties may be able to resolve issues related to the timing of the late fee through negotiation, the filing said. If the negotiations produce a settlement, the motion would be withdrawn; if not then the motion argues that late fees should be eliminated.
According to the motion, RIAA's opposition to late fees stems from disagreements about the cause of late payments. If the evidence shows it is "the copyright owners, and not the licensee that primarily cause untimely payments, then no amount of late fee can incentivize licensees like the RIAA member companies to make timely payments," according to the filing. Such a late fee against the licensee "would always be punitive and out of balance," the document states.
Moreover, record companies regularly pay advances to the Harry Fox Agency and individual publishers designed to cover delays in figuring out payments due, which the determination never took into consideration.
While the copyright owners join in the request to allow time for the parties to each a settlement, they oppose the motion and DiMA takes no position on it.