Constitutionality Of The Copyright Royalty Board To Finally Get Tested In Court
from the will-it-matter? dept
Last year, we noted that, it seemed clear that the Copyright Royalty Board was unconstitutional. This was due to a technical legal process change a few years ago (which also impacted the patent appeals board). Still, I noted that this probably wasn’t a huge deal, because even if the CRB were found to be directed by improperly chosen judges, it would likely be “corrected” quickly by having the President (or a dept head) “reappoint” those same judges. Still, it’s been odd that courts have been wary of addressing this issue. Earlier this summer two separate court rulings punted on the issue and refused to address it, instead focusing on other issues.
However, Live365 has now filed a lawsuit where this is the key issue, so hopefully a court will finally address it. Live365, of course, is at the mercy of the Copyright Royalty Board, and its ridiculous royalty rates, which make it nearly impossible to build a webstreaming business. Still, I’m not sure how much of an impact such a lawsuit can really have in the long run. As mentioned, even if it is found that the board is unconstitutional (which, a pretty plain reading of the Constitution suggests it is), it’s not clear if anything really changes. The board will just get reappointed. At best this could throw out old CRB rulings. So it could be helpful to buy some time, but it’s not clear if it addresses the underlying problem of why three old judges get to decide the business model of a bunch of companies.