Thursday, May 03, 2007

Net radio copyright fee date pushed back

There's a glimmer of good news for Internet radio stations. CNET has a report that the implementation date for the contentious copyright royalty fee increases has been pushed back. (See previous posts here and here)
The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board has pushed back the date on which a contentious fee hike for Internet radio broadcasters takes effect.

In a 32-page final rule (PDF) formally published Monday, the three-judge panel within the Library of Congress set July 15 as the date that the new royalty rates required of Net radio operators will kick in--two months later than the original deadline.

After more than a year of vetting outside submissions, the judges issued an initial ruling on March 2, drawing widespread outcry from large and small commercial Webcasters and the public radio community.

The board prescribed rate hikes of .08 cents per song per listener retroactive to 2006 and then 30 percent each year until 2010, when they would climb to .19 cents per song per listener. It also said each station would have to hand over a minimum $500 royalty payment.

SoundExchange, the non-profit entity that collects the fees and supported the hikes, has said the CRB's changes are necessary to compensate artists adequately.

A group called SaveNetRadio, whose members include Internet radio listeners, Webcasters and artists, says the decision will cripple the Internet radio medium if left untouched. It is supporting a new House of Representatives bill that would invalidate the board's decision in favor of setting a level rate for all digital music services, including satellite, cable and Internet radio and Internet-based jukeboxes.

Here's the link to the story

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