Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

First Page



With traditional, over-the-air broadcasts, radio stations do not have to start paying license fees to rights holders if they get a bigger transmitter or technology allows their signal to reach more listeners. That much, not even the RIAA will dispute. So why should it matter if stations use the Internet to reach additional listeners? The law shouldn't be interpreted to discourage radio stations from using new Internet technology to do the same thing they're doing now--especially since Congress itself expressly said it did not want to "[hamper] ... new technologies" or "impose new and unreasonable burdens" on broadcasters. And make no mistake: industry observers feel the Copyright Office's new rule "will likely force many terrestrial broadcasters to abandon the streaming of their music-oriented on-air programming."