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Broadcast Music, Inc. v. Weigel Broadcasting Co.

488 F. Supp. 2d 411 (2007)

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Broadcast Music, Inc. v. Weigel Broadcasting Co.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

488 F. Supp. 2d 411 (2007)

Facts

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) (plaintiff) licensed musical works on behalf of the works’ copyright owners. Weigel Broadcasting Company (Weigel) (defendant) operated two television stations whose programming was mostly syndicated and geared toward Black audiences. The programming included copyrighted music, which made it necessary to pay BMI licensing fees. The Television Music Licensing Committee (TMLC), which represented Weigel’s stations, negotiated an industry-wide blanket license fee with BMI. However, the TMLC allocated the fee among the various stations it represented according to a given station’s ratings share. Weigel agreed to be bound by the result of the negotiations between BMI and the TMLC. Weigel’s monthly fees then increased by more than $3,000—an increase that Weigel rejected though Weigel’s fees were still equal to or less than the fees paid by many other stations in the industry. In accordance with a federal consent decree to which BMI was subject, BMI filed a petition for a reasonable resetting of Weigel’s fees in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stanton, J.)

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