NAB, radio companies file Web copyright suit

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The National Association of Broadcasters and several radio companies filed suit in a federal court in Philadelphia on Thursday, appealing the U.S. Copyright Office's decision in December that radio broadcasters that stream their signal on the Web are subject to additional copyright fees.

"The issuance of that rule exceeded defendant's statutory authority, was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with law, and therefore is invalid," the suit states. "To hold otherwise could profoundly affect the ability of the radio broadcasting industry to keep abreast of modern technology by offering radio station programming on a nonsubscription basis over the Internet."

Besides NAB, the plaintiffs include Bonneville International Corp., Cox Radio, Emmis Communications, Entercom Communications, Infinity Broadcasting and Susquehanna Radio.

NAB had filed a suit on the same issue against the Recording Industry Association of America in a New York federal district court, but dropped that case in favor of this one now that the Copyright Office has released its decision.
- Paige Albiniak