Judges Reject Appeals From Webcasters on Royalties Hike; Applies To Mobile As Well


Another smackdown on the online radio industry: on Monday a panel of copyright judges threw out requests to reconsider a ruling that hiked the royalties they must pay to record companies and artists…the Copyright Royalty Board judges denied all motions for rehearing and also declined to postpone a May 15 deadline by which the new royalties will have to be collected, reports AP.
They did give into one point: allowing the webcasters to calculate fees by average listening hours, like before, as opposed to the new system of charging a royalty each time every song is heard by an online listener. That exemption counts for last year and this year. After that, the new per-song, per-listener fee structure goes into effect.
Also on Monday, several Internet radio broadcasters announced a campaign to raise awareness of the issue and encourage listeners to write to their representatives in Congress.
BW: The CRB clarified that its decision applies not only to Web-based radio stations, but also to any company broadcasting music over mobile networks. This decision can be aplied on everyone from Mercora, which allows users to download its radio-playing software onto smartphones for listening to Webcasts via mobiles, to music services powered by mobile carriers themselves. Until now, these carriers have negotiated for royalty rates with individual content owners directly. These business arrangements have not been disclosed, but there is a chance that the telcos’ payments will now increase.
More background from both sides: SoundExchange release here, and blog by lawyer representing webcasters.

Comments are closed.