Here’s a recap on several issues we previously reported on:

GMR: NRBMLC met with Global Music Rights (GMR) in early April. Our discussion concerned commercial stations only. We committed to GMR that NRBMLC would provide them with a station list, but only of those stations who have authorized NRBMLC to specifically represent them in GMR negotiations. We are presently compiling that list.  (Commercial station Authorization form here — Noncommercial here)

Based on recent sampling information, the GMR conversation underscored the fact that it is rare for NRBMLC stations to perform songs from GMR’s somewhat narrow repertoire. GMR CEO Randy Grimmett responded that GMR would soon be meeting with members of the Church Music Publishers Association in hopes of signing several key songwriters — implying that GMR’s music catalogue is broadening and might eventually become “ubiquitous” especially for Christian broadcasters.

Legislation: Inside Radio featured an article on May 8th concerning the music industry’s persistence on Capitol Hill. Here are key sentences from what they wrote:

“The musicFIRST Coalition says lawmakers should ‘seize the historic moment’ that’s the result of a four-year review of copyright law. There is clear momentum for reaching a solution to the inequities that exist today by establishing a right to compensation for all music creators and technology-neutral rules for music services,’ the group said in the letter.”

Whatever “momentum” musicFIRST is referring to is not obvious. In fact, the first of two music royalty bills introduced in the 115th Congress is the “Fair Play Fair Pay Act,” similar in content to last session’s bill by the same name. It has garnered 16 House members. The second bill is Rep. Darrel Issa’s “PROMOTE Act” (HR 1914), which also promotes sound recording performance rights. Introduced in early April, it has just two co-signers.

The other side of the legislative spectrum is the “Local Radio Freedom Act” (HCR 16), which ensures that the sound recording royalty legislation harmful to local radio does not pass.  HCR-16 now claims 177 co-signers. Nevertheless, it is very clear that musicFIRST, which is well-financed and represents several recording industry entities, has the ear of top lawmakers and will not soon be silenced on Capitol Hill.

SESAC Arbitration: Briefing and arguments in the arbitration case between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and SESAC, stemming from their Antitrust Court settlement, are complete. The panel’s decision is expected in late June. Most NRBMLC commercial stations are represented by RMLC in this proceeding.