A federal judge in Virginia has thrown out the lawsuit brought by VerStandig Broadcasting to create a royalty-free ring around a transmitter for stations that geo-fence a webcast. It’s a setback for broadcasters who viewed the case as a way to cut royalty expenses.
Judge Michael Urbanski said the suit was “too speculative, indefinite and hypothetical” to move forward, agreeing with SoundExchange’s request to dismiss the case. In a lawsuit filed last May in Harrisonburg, VA, owner John VerStandig argued that the Copyright Act gives broadcasters the right to distribute content without paying a royalty for up to 150 miles from a station’s transmitter. He sought the court’s backing before he began streaming “105.1 Bob Rocks” WTGD using geo-fencing technology.
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