A US court of appeals has upheld a 2007 ruling that internet radio services don’t need to sign licensing deals with record labels – but only if they don’t allow users to play tracks on-demand. It’s in a case involving Yahoo’s LaunchCast service. It still has to pay the standard webcasting royalty rates, but doesn’t need to strike deals with the labels – unlike interactive services where users pick and choose their songs. The case originally began in 2001, when Sony BMG sued LaunchCast, saying that allowing people to create personalised channels around their preferences, and also to skip tunes, represented enough interactivity to require licences.

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