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ASCAP, RIAA square off in new CRB royalty hearing

Posted on: 01/30/2008

From an ASCAP press release: Over the years,
ASCAP has worked tirelessly to convince Congress and the courts that all songwriters, composers and music publishers are entitled to fair compensation for their copyrighted musical works.

Today [January 28th], the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) begins a hearing that will determine mechanical rates for every songwriter and music publisher in America. It will be critical because, in addition to setting rates for physical products, rates will be set for the first time ever for digital products such as digital downloads, subscription services and ringtones.

Our friends at The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) will be representing the mechanical right interests of songwriters and music publishers in this hearing. They will be fighting vigorously to protect those mechanical right interests to ensure that musical compositions are compensated fairly. On the other side of this fight stands the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Digital Media Association (DiMA). Both the RIAA and DiMA have proposed significant reductions in mechanical royalty rates that would be disastrous for songwriters and music publishers.

David Israelite, NMPA President and CEO tells us, “The current rate for physical phonorecords is 9.1 cents. The RIAA has proposed slashing the rate to approximately 6 cents a song – a cut of more than one-third the current rate!”…

Irwin Robinson, ASCAP Board member and Chairman of the NMPA added, “Our opponents in this hearing are proposing a rate structure which would have devastating consequences for songwriters, composers and music publishers trying to make a living, now or in the future.” The initial hearing will last four weeks, followed by a rebuttal hearing in May, and a final decision expected on October 2. Among the ASCAP writer members testifying at the hearing are Rick Carnes, Phil Galdston, and Board member Stephen Paulus.

And while all this is going on, ASCAP has been leading the fight for fair performance right compensation in Federal Court against DiMA members AOL, Yahoo! and RealNetworks. Our case has been heard and we expect an outcome this summer.

Read the entire release from ASCAP.

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  1. Representative Howard Coble’s encouragement to consider viable options
    with the Internet Radio
    Equality Act HR2060S1353

    Johnnie Davis · Jan 30, 11:41 AM · #

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