Chris Castle and SGA weigh in on big-money music bid to continue royalty freeze to music creators

The SGA has been celebrating a win for songwriters following the the Copyright Royalty Board judges' decision to unfreeze physical mechanical royalties for music creators rather than extending the rate freeze through 2027. However on April 6, Chris Castle, announced that the Recording Industry Association of America's lawyer has issued an "emergency motion" asking the CRB judges to "clarify' their decision. The filing by the RIAA suggests that only George Johnson -- the initial songwriter to post opposition to the frozen royalty extension -- should have the royalty freeze lifted. The motion -- by Susan Chertkof of the RIAA -- goes on to suggest that all other music creators should continue to have their royalties frozen. This despite the fact that thousands of songwriters, groups and organizations worked for more than a year opposing the freeze extension.

While many in the industry hope this move by the RIAA is a 'hail mary pass' that will be rebuffed, it is definitely worth following.

The Songwriters Guild of America posted a response to the RIAA's challenge. You can read our response here.

You can read more about this issue, in depth, over at Chris Castle's blog. Here's a teaser:

"It's hard to believe, but the major labels have filed an "emergency motion" at the Copyright Royalty Board asking the Judges to "clarify" their historic rejection of the insider deal to extend the freeze on physical mechanical royalties for songwriters that many have criticized as being flat out corrupt (and the Judges certainly hinted at it, smoke and fire being what they are)."

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Chris is an MBA graduate of the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management and a JD graduate of the UCLA School of Law where he was a member of the UCLA Law Review and an Olin Fellow in Law and Economics. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law where he taught The Music Business in the Digital Millennium. Before law school, Chris graduated with high honors from UCLA, majoring in political theory. He is admitted to the bar in California and Texas. He writes an industry blog on all things music and IP -- Music Technology Policy.