Legal Blog

Offit Kurman Represents Broadcasting Group in Copyright Suit

Offit Kurman has been selected as counsel for WTGD, WQPO, WJDV, and their broadcast ownership group, in a suit against digital performance rights organization SoundExchange, Inc. Offit Kurman is counsel of record in the suit, alongside David Butler, Bryan Killian and Stephanie Schuster, of Bingham McCutchen, LLP. The broadcasting group seeks a declaratory judgment from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, providing that radio broadcasters are exempted from paying online streaming royalties when confining their broadcasts to certain geographic areas, in consideration of a recently developed digital technology known as geofencing, which can restrict online data made available to recipients based on the locale of those recipients. Under Section 114(d)(1)(B)(i) of U.S. Copyright Act, broadcasters are exempt from the payment of royalty fees as long as their radio transmissions are retransmitted within a 150-mile radius of the broadcast site. With geofencing, broadcasters can now limit their online retransmissions to the same 150-mile zone, to ensure online listeners are located within the royalty-free distance. The plaintiffs in this suit argue this proven technology preserves local broadcasting exemptions under the Copyright Act, and its use is thus not subject to royalty payments. Those interested can read more about this case at the media outlets below:


Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 120 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eight offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Northern Virginia markets, as well as the Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City metropolitan areas. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

You can connect with Offit Kurman via our BlogFacebookTwitterGoogle+YouTube, and LinkedIn pages.  You can also sign up to receive Law Matters, Offit Kurman’s monthly newsletter covering a diverse selection of legal and corporate thought leadership content.