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Decision Backs European Composers

July 26, 2001|Bloomberg News

European musicians will be entitled to compensation for lost income in the U.S. until Congress passes a law requiring businesses to pay royalties, the European Commission said.

The commission said it will waive a July 27 deadline for the U.S. to comply with a World Trade Organization order to change a law that costs European composers and songwriters such as Elton John and Paul McCartney millions of dollars in royalties a year.

The European Union complaint against the 1998 amendment to the U.S. Copyright Act was prompted by the Irish Music Rights Organization, which charged that European bands ranging from U2 to the Corrs are losing about $28 million in royalties a year.

The WTO upheld part of the U.S. law saying small restaurants and retail outlets need not pay royalties to entertain customers with music on home-style stereos or televisions.

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