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Archived updates for Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Copyright Royalty Board Judges and Digital Audio Transmission Audits

The Librarian of Congress has announced the appointment of the first three Copyright Royalty Judges pursuant to the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004. The new Chief Copyright Royalty Judge is James S. Sledge. The new Copyright Royalty Judge with expertise in economics is Stanley C. Wisniewski. The new Copyright Royalty Judge with expertise in copyright law is William J. Roberts. The new Judges will assume office on Monday, January 9, 2005. For more information, visit the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board website.

The new CRJs will carry out the functions previously performed by the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARPs), including the adjustment of rates and terms for certain statutory licenses such as the section 114 and 112 licenses. Certain digital audio transmission licenses under sections 112 and 114 of the Copyright Act require payments of royalty fees to SoundExchange, a collecting rights entity designated by the Librarian of Congress.

Such Designated Agents may conduct a single audit of a Licensee for the purpose of verifying their royalty payments. However, as a preliminary matter, the Designated Agent is required to submit a notice of its intent to audit a Licensee with the Copyright Office and serve this notice on the service to be audited. On December 23, 2005, SoundExchange filed with the Copyright Office eleven notices of intent to audit the following eligible nonsubscription and new subscription services for the years 2002, 2003, and 2004:
  1. Bonneville International Corporation;
  2. Susquehanna Radio Corp.;
  3. RealNetworks, Inc.;
  4. Clear Channel Communications, Inc.;
  5. America Online, Inc.;
  6. Beethoven Radio;
  7. MTV Networks;
  8. Microsoft Corporation;
  9. Live365, Inc.;
  10. Cox Radio Interactive; and
  11. Yahoo!, Inc.
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