The Copyright Royalty Board has issued its initial determination in the remand/appeal of Phonorecords III, which upheld the 15.1% headline rate increase that was determined in 2018.
Now, a 15-day window opens for rehearing motions. Then the U.S. Copyright Office also must undertake a legal review for error, which they have up to 60 days to complete.
Following those steps, a determination will be published, starting a clock of at most 6 months for DSPs to make retroactive adjustments/arrearage payments, meaning the arrearage payments would come early next year.
National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) President & CEO David Israelite says, “We are pleased the court finally has confirmed the result of Phono 3, a case which was decided in 2018. This initial remand decision upholds the 15.1% headline rate increase we fought for, however the length of time we have waited for this decision proves the Copyright Royalty Board system is woefully flawed. Now songwriters have some certainty about their rates, and we will ensure they receive the hundreds of millions of dollars that digital streaming companies owe them during this adjustment period.”
Of the initial determination, Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Executive Director Bart Herbison shares, “The testimonies of the three songwriter witnesses in this trial were powerful, convincing and illustrated the difficulty of songwriters earning a living in the streaming era—as well as the importance and value of the composition in the commercial music process. Steve Bogard, Liz Rose and Lee Miller, all NSAI board members, were moving and informative and played a huge role in the historic increase.”
Herbison adds, “The process is long and difficult requiring time and preparation. We are thankful to these songwriters and to the NMPA.”
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