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DO YOU HAVE A LICENSE FOR THAT?
BMI and NMPA Doing More Work Than The DMV—Like That’s Hard to Do

Performance rights organization BMI and radio broadcaster’s interest group the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) have approved an interim license agreement, setting fees for streaming broadcast signals over the Internet while the organizations battle in court.

BMI and a group of about 5,000 stations represented by the RMLC are currently in court proceedings to determine license fees and terms for online streaming of on-the-air broadcasts. BMI contests that a separate web license should be required with stations paying 1.8% of gross revenues from their websites, just as the proposed broadcast rate is calculated. However, RMLC believes that stations do not need a separate license and therefore should not pay a separate fee.

The agreement set the interim licensing fee at 1.605% of streaming Internet revenues, with a minimum streaming fee of $259 per year. The agreement retroactively covers stations that have been streaming before BMI set streaming fees in 1998. This fee could change depending upon the court’s decision.

In related news, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and its licensing subsidiary, the Harry Fox Agency, say their recent agreement with the RIAA, to provide licenses for use of copyrighted music for Internet music subscription services, is a hit with music publishers. Under the agreement, the licensing process allows for "bulk" licensing of musical works, meaning music sites will be able to get licenses immediately—and avoid the holiday rush.

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