ARKCON 2019

ARKCON 2019

Let's CELEBRATE Together!  Arkansas Broadcasters Association Celebrates 70th Anniversary - Register Now! Check out our new convention website for full details on the...

Read More

Jobs

Jobs

Looking for a job in broadcasting? Radio and television stations in Arkansas offer many opportunities for employment. You'll find everything from entry-level positions to more...

Read More

Station Websites

Station Websites

ABA members provide a wealth of information on their station websites, providing local news, sports, and weather - in addition to providing an advertising resource for clients...

Read More

CommLawBlog

CommLawBlog

D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC Reinstatement of UHF Discount By Dan Kirkpatrick on Jul 25, 2018 04:49 pm The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today dismissed...

Read More

Recent Posts

ARKCON 2019

ARKCON 2019

Let's CELEBRATE Together! 

Arkansas Broadcasters Association Celebrates 70th Anniversary - Register Now!

Check out our new convention website for full details on the convention, including the schedule!  Click Here for Website.

Little Rock – The Arkansas Broadcasters Association (ABA) is set to celebrate its 70th anniversary as the leading trade association for Arkansas Broadcasters.

ABA began in 1949 as the trade association for broadcasters in Arkansas focused on providing broadcasters with a lobbying voice, while also providing them with technical and regulatory support and continuous professional enrichment opportunities.

Over the years, ABA has been successful at helping Natural State broadcasters stay ahead of the ever evolving and changing landscape of broadcast media.

“ABA has experienced exceptional growth and successes over the years. Moving forward, our focus will remain on offering the broadcasters of Arkansas the resources and education they need to stay at the forefront of the industry. We are excited to celebrate 70 years of Broadcasting Naturally at our convention, ARKCON this July” says Luke Story, Executive Director of the ABA.

The association’s celebration will culminate July 18-19 at its annual ARKCON convention to be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and historic Robinson Center in downtown Little Rock. Governor Asa Hutchinson will be in attendance to recognize the broadcasters for their years of service and commitment to the communities of Arkansas.

For more information on the ABA and its 70th Anniversary celebration at ARKCON this summer please call the office at: 501-227-7564 or email at: mail@arkbroadcasters.org


Notice to Operators Who Stream Pre-1972 Recording

Notice to Operators Who Stream Pre-1972 Recordings Regarding Upcoming Statutory Deadline

Operators who have digitally streamed sound recordings that were recorded before February 15, 1972 ("pre-1972 recordings") should be aware of an upcoming deadline—July 8, 2019. For anyone who was previously carving pre-1972 recordings out of royalties paid to SoundExchange, this is the date by which to true up those payments, in exchange for a form of immunity from state law claims over the past use of those recordings.

A bit more background and context: Historically, the IP rights in pre-1972 sound recordings were governed by state law, rather than federal law. As a result, it was unclear whether paying SoundExchange for digital streams of pre-1972 recordings actually afforded protection from liability for using them, since those payments are part of a federal statutory licensing regime. Some music users nevertheless paid SoundExchange on their streams of pre-1972 recordings; others didn't. A wave of lawsuits followed, brought by copyright owners of pre-1972 recordings alleging that music services and broadcasters had violated their state-law rights by digitally streaming those recordings—irrespective of whether SoundExchange had been paid or not.

On October 11, 2018, Congress enacted a law (the Music Modernization Act or MMA) that creates a new federal legal regime for digital streaming of pre-1972 recordings. Going forward, the MMA eliminates state-law claims related to streaming of pre-1972 recordings. It is now explicit in the law that broadcasters must pay SoundExchange for streams of pre-1972 recordings at the established statutory rate, and in turn receive a license.


Importantly, the MMA also provides a way for broadcasters to immunize themselves from any potential state-law claims related to streaming that took place before the MMA's enactment on October 11, 2018. To obtain that immunity, broadcasters must pay SoundExchange, on or before July 8, 2019, for any digital streams of pre-1972 recordings that were not otherwise paid for during the three years immediately preceding the MMA's enactment.

If you already paid SoundExchange for all of your digital streams (whether for pre-1972 or post-1972 recordings) for the three-year period predating the MMA's enactment, you may not need to make any additional payments. The decision whether to make payments will turn on facts and circumstances specific to each operator, and we encourage broadcasters to consult with their attorneys for further guidance.

The RMLC is not in a position to answer any questions regarding what a given operator should do, and merely wants to alert you to the impending deadline to ensure that you consult your attorney for additional information.