Judge Dismisses VerStandig's 'Geo-Fencing' Suit Against SoundExchange
February 16, 2015 at 4:23 AM (PT)
U.S. District Judge MICHAEL F. URBANSKI has dismissed VERSTANDIG BROADCASTING's suit seeking to get court agreement that "geo-fencing" Internet streams protects broadcasters against having to pay streaming royalties to SOUNDEXCHANGE.
VERSTANDIG went to court last year to establish its theory that by limiting the online stream of its Active Rock WTGD (105.1 BOB ROCKS)/BRIDGEWATER, VA to a 150-mile radius, it does not owe royalties to be collected by SOUNDEXCHANGE, but in an opinion released FRIDAY (2/16), URBANSKI said that VERSTANDIG's case is " too speculative, indefinite and hypothetical to allow the court to make a judgment as to whether the proposed broadcasts will result in copyright infringement or not."
He ruled that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction for the case and adopted the recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge JOEL C. HOPPE that the case be dismissed; HOPPE concluded that the copyright owners, not SOUNDEXCHANGE, would be the proper defendants in this case, because any cognizable injury to the plaintiffs for owing under the Copyright Act would be traceable to the copyright owners.