The record companies have applied to the Copyright Tribunal to determine the fees to be applied to commercial radio station’s online simulcasts.
The move will see the stoush between Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and the record companies, represented by Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) go on for another year.
The final hearing for the dispute has not be set until March 2015.
Joan Warner, chief executive of CRA, said: “In spite of the PPCA’s public statements that they are willing to engage in open and amicable negotiation, they are obviously not satisfied with the interim scheme and at the first opportunity have once again taken the legal route through the Tribunal.”
“The interim scheme itself is not the issue, in spite of the PPCA trying to set it up as some sort of smokescreen for their real agenda. The issue is the significant financial risk an interim licence imposes on a station. If the record companies are successful in having the high cost scheme imposed on radio, and it is backdated, the financial liability accrued could be crippling. In addition, stations will be hit with another cost – the cost of setting up a complex reporting and compliance system.
“The reality of the interim scheme is that it is not “just a $100 a month” as the PPCA persistently and incorrectly states. The interim scheme for a radio station in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Geelong, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Newcastle is up to $3,125 per quarter per station and in other smaller regional areas is $312 per quarter per station – plus a requirement for three separate sets of reports being kept so fees can be backdated for their preferred high cost final scheme.”
All radio stations already pay a fee to the record companies for the music they play in addition to fees to APRA while commercials stations also pay for a broadcast licence.
CRA has previously described PPCA’s move to charge the radio industry for including the music heard on-air in their digital simulcasts as “double dipping”.