January 2017 – Update from the NRB MLC

Dear Friends:

The year 2016 was “eventful”– but challenging for music licensees.

GMR: At the top of the challenge list was the brash unveiling of a new PRO, Global Music Rights (GMR), whose presence has complicated our music licensing horizon.

The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) has stepped up, engaging GMR in antitrust court. RMLC Chairman Ed Christian recently characterized GMR’s tactics like this:

“We saw GMR’s most recent email to stations. It is completely false. GMR dictated the price of its interim license, period. More than that, this is precisely the kind of … monopoly arrogance that led us to file our antitrust lawsuit against GMR ….”

Your Committee remains without a formal GMR strategy. Nevertheless, stations must be prepared to interact with GMR wisely, in the event you receive a communication from them.

All stations: you should not accept or agree to be licensed by GMR until you first consult with your station’s counsel or your Committee.

BMI: Currently, commercial NRBMLC’s negotiating efforts with BMI are stalemated, following more than three years of talks. We continue to be hopeful, and stations remain interim-licensed under the terms of the 2005 BMI/NRBMLC license. On the positive side, noncommercial NRBNMLC negotiated a good broadcast licensing accommodation with BMI (and ASCAP and SESAC) through 2022.

SoundExchange: Noncommercial NRBNMLC, which suffered a streaming sound recording royalty setback in the WEB IV proceeding, has withdrawn its appeal of that decision. We are not, however, without options, and believe that direct talks with SoundExchange may occur in the near future.

We ended 2016 grateful for accomplishments and confident we can meet the many challenges facing us.

As always, thank you for the work you do and for your always encouraging support! Have a blessed 2017!



Russ Hauth
Executive Director

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