The filing is trying to limit artist earnings from streaming platforms.
After announcing plans to fight the decision to increase songwriter royalties from on-demand streaming back in March, a 92-page appeal has now been filed with the District Of Coloumbia's Court Of Appeals.
The appeal calls the Copyright Royalty Board's proposed increase—from 10.5 percent to 15.1 percent in the US over a five-year period—"arbitrary, capricious, unexplained and unsupported by substantial evidence," and questions the reasoning and soundness of the calculation of the increase.
The appeal also argues that the five year phase-in period doesn't do enough to protect the streaming giant's financial interests, stating, "A five-year phase-in does nothing to minimize that disruption, because the source of disruption is the overall cost the services will have to bear, not when that cost is imposed."
In an email to Digital Music News, Garrett Levin, CEO of the Digital Media Association representing the streaming companies, said, "Streaming has reinvigorated the music industry and represents both the present and future of how fans engage with music whenever and wherever they want and how creators reach old fans and make new ones. All stakeholders should work to preserve and support the continued, unsurpassed growth that streaming has brought to the industry, and the innovations that have made it possible."
This echoes language from the appeal, which positions streaming providers as saviours of the music industry and songwriters, claiming, "streaming services brought more music to
more paying listeners, generating more royalties for the songwriters and publishers who hold the copyrights to musical works." It also quotes a trial witness, who said, "[M]ost of
the decline in professional songwriters occurred well before the rise in
popularity of interactive music services."
We will update this story once a decision regarding the appeal has been reached.