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Copyright Royalty Board hears arguments over proposed songwriter royalties

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 06 Feb 2008 0:10 User comments (5)

Copyright Royalty Board hears arguments over proposed songwriter royalties According to many music label executives, manufacturers of portable music players should be paying them a cut of profits since their sales are predicated on the availability of recorded music. Unfortunately they don't hold themselves to the same standard they'd like to hold companies like Apple to, as they've shown in a proposal to the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) which would reduce songwriter royalties for physical sales (in formats like CD) to $0.06 per song, from the current rate of $0.091. Their proposal would also set download rates at a lower level of up to 5.5 cents per Track, while Streaming would compensate songwriters to the tune of 0.58% (less than 1%) of revenue.
The songwriters, represented at CRB negotiations by the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), are proposing that royalties for physical sales be increased to 12.5 cents per song (twice the labels' proposed rate), with a rate of 15 cents per song for downloaded songs, under the assumption that downloaded music has lower costs for the labels compared to the distribution of physical media like CDs. Their proposal calls for streaming royalties to be set at 12.5% of revenue, 27.5% of content costs, or less than a penny per play as a flat rate.

The Digital Media Association (DiMA), which represents many of the tech companies involved in the internet music industry, is also involved in the CRB hearings, and have their own proposal. Not surprisingly, it also suggests setting royalties lower than songwriters, or even the labels, are asking. In fact, in the case of streaming royalties they're saying the songwriters have no Right to royalties, and are asking the CRB to make a definitive judgement on the question.

If the CRB sounds familiar, you may be remembering their big announcement last year that they would be accepting a SoundExchange (recording industry) proposal for new internet radio royalties without a single change. This may be a bad sign for songwriters, who are counting on the CRB to actually read and consider three different royalty proposals to determine what's fair.

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5 user comments

16.2.2008 4:13

According to many music label executives, manufacturers of portable music players should be paying them a cut of profits since their sales are predicated on the availability of recorded music.
now they claim a share of the profits of mp3 players because they are no longer, the monopolistic gatekeepers they have always been. well if i purchase a pc then surly everyone that makes a programme wants a cut of the action, what a ridiculous notion, these ******* *** holes at the RIAA just can't stop can they.

First off they are, and have destroyed internet radio, pandora shuts in uk soundexchange, becuase they wouldn't jump when told unlike lastfm, who are now owned by CBS (Viacom), so its not surprising lasfm has decided to screw the customer over and introduce subscription services or be forced to endure adds in the middle of songs, lmao and this is forward thinking!

what was really laughable is how they (big media) marketed indie bands, when you think the reason that indie (independent) started was to bypass the big labels in the first place so the artists could make some money then the price fixing giants pull together to destroy indie as its not their media by claiming rights to collect royalties from all music even from bands not signed to any RIAA member!

And i truly believed the rhetoric of the RIAA when they said that they were suing 10year olds, dead ppl and college kids that they were protecting revenues of the artists now they want to cut rates to the writers, lets just dump the talented ppl and hire more bands like "the back street boys"!

links to read!

Radio royalties: the ticking timebomb under the RIAA

Digital deals screwing the indie labels?

Pandora UK closes after royalties demands

Artists' best interests? RIAA presses for lower royalties

Here is my fav link that shows just how mafia like big media operates, besides price fixing, payola scams ect.

RIAA Claims Ownership of All Artist Royalties For Internet Radio

Originally posted by above link riaa claims...:
The RIAA has secured legal authority to administer a compulsory license that covers all recorded music.

Originally posted by soundexchange f&q:
"The recent U.S. Copyright Office ruling regarding webcasting designated SoundExchange to collect and distribute to all nonmembers as well as its members. The Librarian of Congress issued his decision with rates and terms to govern the compulsory license for webcasters (Internet-only radio) and simulcastors (retransmissions)." (

"SRCOs (sound recording copyright owners) are subject to a compulsory license for the use of their music...SoundExchange was established to administer the collection and distribution of royalties from such compulsory licenses taken by noninteractive streaming services that use satellite, cable or Internet methods of distribution."
So how it works is that SoundExchange collects money through compulsory royalties from Webcasters and holds onto the money. If a label or artist wants their share of the money, they must become a member of SoundExchange and pay a fee to collect their royalties ( But, and this is a big "but," you only get royalties if you own the sound recording copyright. If you are signed to a major label, chances are you don’t. Even if you do own the copyright to your own recording of your own song, SoundExchange will collect Internet radio royalties for your song even if you don’t want them to do so.
boycott the gatekeepers ppl, do not allow them to dictate our culture and block media they deem inappropriate, influential and actually talented!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Feb 2008 @ 4:56

26.2.2008 18:48

This is all completely f***ed up. I think is all the words you need to describe this.
@ nobrainer, man after reading a few of those links I am disgusted with the way things are going!!! I (luckily) dont live in the US but in Europe. BUT maybe it wont take long to catch up in certain Euro countries. Ah am starting out with songwriting, and recording with my PC(on a side note, got an EMU 1820M and it rocks. Patchmix is a steap learning curve though). P2P, bittorrent and webcasting are a dream come true for me. Meaning I dont need Mr Moneybags ripping me off and telling me what joe public wanna hear or how they want to pay / play / rip / share and do whatever else with MY F***ING music!!! I dont need them to "PLAY MY GUITAR ON THE MTV" (money for nothing Dire Straits)I thought yes I can promote my own music, very easily. Looks like their fingers are in all the pies and even with the need for a licence to broadcast in the first place, they are still screwing you. What in the hell has happened to my internet connection, or should I say the governments connection that I can use sometimes if I pay for all the extras, like streaming my own music to anyone thats interested.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Feb 2008 @ 18:52

37.2.2008 7:43

Oh boy another CD tax!

47.2.2008 9:29

And the big labels are under yet another antitrust investigation!

Originally posted by link:
Major labels 'face DoJ antitrust probe'

Unlaunched TotalMusic prompts price fixing concern
By Andrew Orlowski
Published Thursday 7th February 2008 13:19 GMT

Two major labels have been served notice of a fresh antitrust investigation, a music business newsletter reports today. MusicAlly's daily Bulletin suggests that the as-yet-unlaunched TotalMusic service, currently backed by Universal and Somy BMG, has prompted notices from the US Department of Justice. The report suggests all four major labels have been contacted.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Feb 2008 @ 9:31

52.3.2008 7:06

this is just silly fighting over cents :P

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