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Business News (more headlines) 06-13-2003

Comments Of Royalty Logic, Inc. Objecting To RIAA Webcasting Settlement

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Pursuant to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the above-captioned proceeding, published at 68 Fed. Reg. 27506 (May 20, 2003), Royalty Logic, Inc. ("RLI") files hereby its objections to those terms of the proposed regulations that relate to the Designated Agent and certain other administrative terms. RLI raises no objection to the rates agreed to by the parties. Specifically, RLI objects to proposed regulations contained in PART 262 that would have the anti-competitive effect of eliminating the only other agent designated to compete with RIAA/SoundExchange in offering critical statutory royalty collection and distribution services to copyright owners and performers. The regulations would deny to RLI a continuation of its designation pursuant to the previous webcasting CARP and thereby deny to RLI's copyright owner and performer affiliates their right, pursuant to 17 U.S.C 112(e)(2), 114(e)(1-2) and 114(g)(3), to the common agent of their choosing.

RLI filed the appropriate Notice of Intent to participate in the industry-wide voluntary negotiations leading up to the proposed regulations. However, RIAA/SoundExchange has utilized its market power to force the services into exclusive "one agent only" agreements ("characterized" by the RIAA as being voluntary[1]) that eliminate RLI as a competitive Designated Agent. These "one agent only" agreements are intended to deny choice and self-determination to performers and copyright owners who would never, unless forced, elect to be represented by RIAA/SoundExchange. If the Copyright Office does not authorize a CARP for the purpose of fully designating RLI as a "Designated Agent" under these circumstances, then participation in the industry-wide voluntary negotiation process is meaningless.

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