The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) filed a notice of its intent to audit TuneIn, a streaming radio provider, for its collection and payment of royalty fees to copyright owners and performers.
The audit was authorized by SoundExchange, the organization designated by the CRB to collect royalty payments and statements submitted by licensees such as TuneIn and distributing royalties to the appropriate parties.
SoundExchange may choose to conduct an audit once a year for any or all of the previous three years for any licensee but may only audit a given year one time. SoundExchange has chosen to audit TuneIn’s 2018 account statements.
CRB audits will determine the accuracy of the royalty payments or distributions and whether overpayments or underpayments exist. If it is determined royalties were underpaid, TuneIn will be required to remit the balance due, including applicable late fees. If fees were overpaid, it is not allowed to “recoup, offset or take credit for the overpayment” unless an agreement is made with SoundExchange.
Under Title 17 of the Copyright Act, streaming providers like TuneIn, Spotify and Pandora – whether offering their services via subscription or without a subscription – are granted the right to reproduce sound recordings owned by others to facilitate the digital transmission of those recordings provided they pay royalty fees to the copyright owners of those recordings and comply with the terms set by the Copyright Royalty Judges.
Source: Subscription Insider