RMLC Applies for 2017-2021 BMI License and Interim Fee Payments Set
The 2010 Station License negotiated between the RMLC and BMI expires on December 31, 2016 and the RMLC has taken steps to ensure that stations remain licensed by BMI effective January 1, 2017.
All stations that have authorized the RMLC to act on their behalf in negotiations with BMI for this round of license negotiations can continue to play BMI compositions after December 31 because the RMLC and BMI have agreed that, while they continue to negotiate or pursue a litigated resolution of license fees for the period effective January 1, 2017, the RMLC stations will pay BMI interim fees at the same (1.7%-of-net-revenue) rates that applied under the most recent BMI – radio industry license that expired on December 31, 2016. RMLC has taken the position with BMI that the final fees for the license term starting January 1, 2017 should be reduced from the pre-existing rate, as evidence indicates that BMI’s share of performances on radio is less than ASCAP’s and warrants a rate below 1.7%. Rather than engage in costly litigation to try to lower the interim rate, however, the RMLC determined that its efforts were better directed at proceeding as soon as possible to demonstrate that BMI’s market share calls for a lower final fee, which will be retroactive to January 1, 2017 (and, thus, result in a fee credit to stations assuming the RMLC prevails in establishing a lower rate). In short, the interim fee phase of the BMI rate-setting process is now concluded and operators should continue to make payments to BMI as invoiced by BMI.
Any operator who is unsure of a station’s RMLC authorization status can contact the RMLC office for confirmation. To avoid being out of license as of January 1, 2017, station operators must either:
(i) authorize the RMLC to act on their behalf by completing and returning the appropriate Authorization form to the RMLC [the form can be downloaded at the Forms tab on this website] or
(ii) sign an agreement with BMI extending their expiring 2010-2016 agreement on an interim basis effective January 1, 2017 (or separately apply to BMI for a license under the BMI Consent Decree effective January 1, 2017).
After January 1, 2017, stations that have not elected one of these options may be out of license with BMI.