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RAIN News Flash: SoundEx, public radio strike royalty deal

Posted on: 01/15/2009

SoundExchange and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have announced they’ve reached a deal on streaming performance royalties. Public broadcasters will pay copyright owners and performers $1.85 million and supply a consolidated “usage report” detailing song and artist play for all of public radio for the current 2006-2010 term. The deal also requires NPR to withdraw its appeal of the 2007 CRB royalty determination. As reported by FMQB (here), included in the deal are approximately 450 public radio webcasters, including CPB-supported stations, NPR and its members, National Federation of Community Broadcasters members, American Public Media, Public Radio Exchange and Public Radio International.

$1.85 million for 450 stations over 5 years results in an average per station per year cost of about $822.

Negotiators for the record industry and broadcasters and webcasters promised Congress to have webcasting agreements hammered out by February 15th, a deadline allowed by passage of the Webcasting Settlement Act (see RAIN here). Negotiations between SoundExchange and groups representing large and small commercial webcasters are underway, with the parties hoping to reach an agreement before the Feb. 15th deadline.

We’ll have more on this story as details emerge.

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  1. I’m curious if, at the price that each station would pay, is it a bargain or still far more than what they would pay?

    JW Richard · Jan 15, 09:16 AM · #

  2. JW:

    That’s a good deal, unless there are other elements that we don’t know about. $822 a year per station comes out to about $69 per month per station. I am sure that any web radio broadcaster would be fine with that. Let’s hope that this metric finds it’s way to the small webcaster’s deal.

    Bill Wilkins, CEO
    Melted Metal Web Radio

    Melted Metal Web Radio · Jan 15, 07:36 PM · #

  3. I am most curious about the restrictions on archived radio programs. The CPB’s Q&A on this matter suggests completely new rules for streaming radio programs on-demand. From the CPB:

    “Fifth, there are restrictions on the webcasting of continuous, looped programs of less than three (3) hours duration and on the number of times that a program may be repeated during a two (2) week period. You can transmit a program that is longer than one (1) hour and that includes performances of sound recordings up to four (4) times in any two (2) week period that have been publicly announced in advance. If the program is less than one (1) hour long, you can transmit the program up to three (3) times in any two (2) week period that have been publicly announced in advance.”

    It is unclear if they are referring to on-demand archived programs or repeat broadcasts.

    Ken Freedman · Jan 16, 04:29 AM · #

  4. The rules they refer to are the restrictions in the DCMA.
    See this article for the full , already existing limitations:

    rych withers · Jan 16, 07:07 AM · #

  5. It is unfortunate that Congress has avoided reforming relevant parts of the DMCA.

    Alan · Feb 14, 07:52 AM · #

  6. How said it is that Congress could have prevented this by reforming the Digital Millennium Copyright Act such that all broadcast media would be treated equally.

    In essence, such a reform would have created performance royalties in keeping with those charged in most countries.

    Had this been done, performance royalties for all broadcast media would have constituted something on the order of 2%-6% of revenue.

    Although such a rate would be more affordable, if it had been applied equally to all platforms and media, the recording industry and its representative, the RIAA, would have realized greater benefits.

    As it is, their tactics are accelerating the demise of small webcasting, without addressing the inequities that exist in existing copyright law between Internet radio and terrestrial radio.

    Charlie · Feb 14, 08:01 AM · #

Commenting is closed for this article.

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