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Webcasters want appeals court to delay new royalty rates

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 02 Jun 2007 13:28 User comments (5)

Webcasters want appeals court to delay new royalty rates National Public Radio (NPR) and a group of webcasters have filed for an emergency stay in the US District Court of the DC Circuit, looking for a delay on new royalty rates that will go into effect on July 15th. The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decided in March that royalty rates should be significantly raised. The Digital Media Association in conjunction with NPR is requesting that the "radical and arbitrary" royalty rate increase be delayed.
The new fee structure means webcasters much pay a flat fee for each song streamed on a per user basis. The fees, which would more than double over the next few years, are costly enough to knock out some of the smaller webcasters. The CRB recently rejected arguments made by the webcasters and only decided to allow webcasters to pay royalties based on average listening hours through 2008.

SoundExchange, which is in charge of collecting royalties, feared congressional action and said it would allow smaller webcasters to keep paying the same rates through 2010, but larger webcasters would have to get used to the new rates starting in July. Webcasters were not impressed by the offer, saying it throws larger webcasters "under the bus" and ensures that Internet Radio will never compete with satellite or terrestrial radio.

Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) introduced the Internet Radio Equality Act that would put a stop to the CRB changes and would keep the current system in effect. However, there is no guarantee it would be passed before the new rates go into effect so an emergency stay is the best option that webcasters can seek right now.

Ars Technica

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5 user comments

12.6.2007 14:03

And I hope they get it the march of the media mafiaa to rob from people and not share it reasonably with the artists needs to be stoped.

22.6.2007 14:51

As long as the artisit get their fair share this would be good. The media mafia can not always get something and expect to make money without costs.

38.6.2007 22:17

How can they get away with offering one pricing scheme to regular radio (free) and another to everyone else??? How about this: I buy a 5W transmitter (no license or fees needed) and broadcast music. That makes me a "radio station", so I don't have to pay royalties. So anything I can download or rip is OK since I'm not paying for it anyway, right? Now, that solves the issue of differing rates because there will be no market for webcasters (or regular radio, or HD radio, or satellite radio...), so no rates at all.


410.6.2007 7:06

help. call your representative. :)

520.7.2007 14:01

Greed. Pure and simple. This will always be the motivation of the media conglomerate.

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