Friday, June 1, 2007

CRB Decision Appealed

On May 30, the Digital Media Association (DiMA) and NPR appealed the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. These are not the only parties to appeal the CRB’s decision--the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System filed its appeal earlier this month. DiMA and NPR also filed an additional motion yesterday requesting that the court issue a “stay” while the CRB decision is under appeal.

What does this all mean?

The appeals are what they sound like. They are asking the DC Circuit to reverse the decision of the CRB.

A “stay” is a legal concept. A court issues a stay to preserve the status quo. In this case, DiMA and NPR are asking the court to keep the present royalty system in effect while the court decides the appeal. If the court refuses to issue a stay, the new CRB imposed royalty rates will take effect on July 15, even though they would be under appeal.

So the court has two decisions. In the next few weeks, it will have to decide whether to issue the stay. Then, over the next several months, it will decide the actual appeal of the CRB’s decision. It is impossible to predict what the court will do, but we’ll keep you informed.

Note that this is entirely separate from ongoing efforts to reverse the CRB’s decision in Congress. Congress has the power to set the rates and overrule the CRB and make the appeal to the DC Circuit unnecessary. While the DC Circuit mulls over the appeal, Congress will hopefully step up to the plate and pass the Internet Radio Equality Act. Keep contacting your Senators and your Representative to encourage them to vote in favor of the Internet Radio Equality Act.

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