Gov't Not A Music Royalty 'Central Planner,' DC Circ. Told

Law360, Washington (February 8, 2018, 8:33 PM EST) -- Royalty collector SoundExchange Inc. urged a D.C. Circuit panel Thursday to upend the federal Copyright Royalty Board's digital streaming music rates, arguing the board impermissibly based the too-low rates on a fictional marketplace and according to Congress should not be a "central planner" for royalties.

The royalty board's three judges were supposed to base rates for streaming services like Pandora on the kind of rates that would have been achieved in open market negotiations, SoundExchange's attorney Benjamin J. Horwich of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP told the panel during oral arguments.

Instead, Horwich asserted, the judges decided to base their rates...

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