Here is the ruling. Unsealed. I just read it and I’ll tell you this, although it is a technical ruling in many ways, it clearly goes against songwriters. There is little chance this will not lower your royalty rates in the subsequent rehearing.
First, The Court of Appeals all but directs the CRB to put the cap back on “total content costs.” This clearly will have a depressive effect on the alternate mechanical royalty calculation. Second, the court seems to be fundamentally uncomfortable with the fact that songwriters get a (phased in over 5 years) 40% raise. Like everyone involved in the proceedings so far, no one seems to understand the initial rate was arbitrary. It was picked out of thin air when no one knew what streaming meant. Finally it’s totally depressing to see a federal court reiterate the notion that the federal government can not put a streaming service out of business by raising songwriter rates too high. It’s not the governments job to save companies that have bad business models. If the streaming services can’t pay fair rates to songwriters perhaps they should charge their customers more, not pay songwriters less. Why do the federal courts think songwriters have to subsidize the streaming business? All in all a depressing read. The system is broken. Songwriters who every day add value to the GDP of this country are robbed and brutalized by their own government. A distant unaccountable unelected elite that has no concept of our lives. Meanwhile they make Daniel Ek billions of dollars richer every year. Does that seem right to you?