The Copyright Royalty Board filed its "Notice of Intent To Audit" commercial webcaster TuneIn, Inc. on June 7. The notice is concerning royalty payments the company made in relation to two statutory licenses.
On May 7, SoundExchange filed their intent to audit TuneIn's 2018 account statements with Lawrence Offsey, a Certified Public Accountant serving at Hexagon Associates, conducting the audit.
With a restriction of one audit per year, SoundExchange may conduct an audit of a licensee for any or all of the prior three calendar years in order to verify royalty payments. SoundExchange is required to first file a notice of intent with the Judges to audit a licensee and deliver the notice to the licensee. After the original notice, the Judges must publish a notice in the Federal Register within 30 days of receipt of the original.
Under The Copyright Act, title 17 of the United States Code, the copyright owners of sound recordings have the exclusive right to publicly perform their sound recordings by means of certain digital audio transmissions, subject to limitations. Streaming services that operate under the statutory license are granted the right to publicly perform sound recordings owned by others by means of digital audio transmissions if they pay the royalty fees and comply with the terms set by the Copyright Royalty Judges.
During the audit, Offsey will evaluate the accuracy of TuneIn's royalty payments and distributions to come to the conclusion as to whether the platform overpaid or underpaid. Then, he’ll submit a report to SoundExchange.
TuneIn will be required to pay the balance as well as interest if they have underpaid. In the result of overpayment, the platform is not allowed to “recoup, offset or take credit for the overpayment” unless TuneIn comes to an agreement with SoundExchange.
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Article image: TuneIn logo. (TuneIn [Available through Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons.)