In what is likely to be the first of many challenges to the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to impose a new cost and reporting structure on internet music broadcasts, companies like NPR and Clear Channel have joined forces Monday to petition that the rules be rolled back, the AP reported.
Earlier this month, the board, which is composed of a panel of copyright judges, set the minimum fee for non-commercial interet radio at $500 per channel, per month, accepting the proposals of the RIAA-backed SoundExchange, a non-profit rights organization that collects royalties for labels and artists. In general, it set rates at $.0008 per-performance for 2006 and $.0011 for this year. The rates rise annually through 2010, when rates are slated to be $$.0019, according to the Broadcast Law Blog. Another aspect of the ruling that webcasters find threatening to internet radio is the demand that they track how many songs and how many individuals listened to a particular song.
In its petition, NPR said the fee and reporting structure would have “crippling effects” on small public stations within its network, while Clear Channel is questioning the way the fees are being calculated. In another area of concern specific to webcasters, the Digital Media Association, has asked for clarification of the fee-per-broadcasting-channel requirement. The DiMA notes that with some online companies offer many thousands of listening options. It argues that counting each one as a separate channel could lead to impossibly high costs, putting many out of business. Release
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