Neighboring rights body the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) and trade group Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) will square up in Australia's Federal Court during June to do battle over Internet simulcast rights.

The date for the hearing has not yet been set, but the court will be asked to rule on whether the online simulcast of a radio broadcast requires a separate licence from the PPCA (representing labels and performers), as the collecting society contends. The CRA argues that such a transmission forms part of the existing broadcast license and doesn't require any additional payment.

"This is an important case for us because Internet-based distribution is an important revenue stream for artists and labels and another one that is being denied to us at the moment," PPCA CEO Stephen Peach tells

As neither side is disputing the facts, Peach adds, the hearing will essentially be limited to legal argument and submission.

The PPCA and CRA are no strangers to jousting in the country's courts. Back in February, the PPCA began a constitutional case in Australia's High Court challenging the 40-year-old price cap which determines the commercial radio sector's licensing fees (, Feb. 19).