Enjoy great online radio at AccuRadio




RAIN 5/15: Radio royalty amendment would change standard for webcast rate setting

Posted on: 05/15/2009

AMENDED PERFORMANCE RIGHTS ACT APPLIES 801(b)(1) ACROSS ALL FORMS OF RADIO

RAIN has learned that, contrary to our analysis yesterday, the “Manager’s Amendment” to the Performance Rights Act (H.R. 848) would change the standard by which Internet radio royalties are determined, from the much-maligned “willing buyer, willing seller” to a slightly-altered version of the more widely-used “801(b)(1).”

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted to approve the Performance Rights Act of 2009, but not before the Manager’s Amendment was added (see RAIN here).

The main objective of the PRA is to allow performers and copyright owners of sound recordings to earn royalties from music played by broadcasters. But one facet of the amendment is a step towards “platform parity” in that it establishes the modified 801(b)(1) standard for sound recording copyright royalty setting for terrestrial, satellite, cable, and Internet radio.

Satellite and cable radio royalties are already set by arbitrators using 801(b)(1), a set of criteria which requires arbitrators to consider the fairness of their decision to both the copyright owner and copyright user. Internet radio royalty rates, on the other hand, under the DMCA, are currently determined with a standard called “willing buyer, willing seller.” With “willing buyer, willing seller,” instead of considering real world conditions and ramifications of their decisions, arbitrators are limited to consider only what they believe a hypothetical open market would arrive at.

Webcasters have long protested as unfair the fact that only their platform uses the “willing buyer, willing seller” standard, which many believe typically leads to royalty determinations more favorable to copyright owners.

As mentioned above (and reported yesterday), the “Manger’s Amendment” uses an altered version of 801(b)(1); one which removes the criterion that requires arbitrators to consider the possible “disruptive impact” their decision would have on involved industries. While some seem to be downplaying the significance of this change — at least for the purposes of Internet radio — industry attorney David Oxenford explains why he considers this point critical in his Broadcast Law Blog here.

For more background on the significance of the 801(b)(1) standard (and especially the “industry disruption” point), see Oxenford here. For more on why 801(b)(1) is preferable to “willing buyer, willing seller,” see Kurt Hanson’s essay “Copyright Law and the CRB: What Went Wrong?” here.

FORD UPDATES SYNC SERVICE, PANDORA NET RADIO ON THE WAY

On Monday Ford will update their Sync voice-activated service, which will soon enable webcasters like Pandora to deliver Internet radio to cars. Ford expects to update the service in 9 to 12 months to possibly deliver Pandora streams to a car’s audio system. The upcoming May 18 update delivers information about traffic, directions, stocks and weather through voice-activated commands, all using the voice line of a Bluetooth-connected mobile device (data usage charges are avoided this way). For more on Sync’s updates, check out Twice’s coverage here.

KENNEDY: “HERO DEVICES,” CAR DASHBOARDS IN PANDORA’S FUTURE

Pandora is on the look-out for “hero devices” in the mobile world, said CEO Joe Kennedy in an interview at the EconnSM conference in San Francisco. The iPhone, Blackberry and upcoming Palm Pre devices all fit this description, as they all have “a truly great experience in which every piece of the puzzle works.” Pandora is holding off on an application for Android phones though, because those devices lack standard audio jacks and other features that make audio listening an easy experience. Kennedy said upcoming Android devices have these features however, so they’re “high on the watch-list” for Pandora. Kennedy also said that Pandora is speaking with automakers to bring the service’s streams to dashboards, though only Ford has publicly announced their plans to include Pandora with their Sync service (see story on Sync above). To watch a video of Kennedy’s interview, head to Vator.tv here.

MiFi DEVICE FROM VERIZON, SPRINT CREATES MOBILE WI-FI HOTSPOTS

Though iPhone and Blackberry users can connect to web services like Internet radio wherever they have a cellular signal, they are usually limited to only use applications on that specific mobile device. A new gadget from Novatel called the MiFi 2200 opens things up a little. It connects to a Sprint or Verizon cellular network and converts that signal into Wi-Fi, allowing any Wi-Fi device to connect online wherever there’s a cellular signal. Additionally, the device is powered by rechargeable batteries that run for 4 hours of continued use (40 hours standby) and it’s about the size of “triple-thick” credit card, allowing you to bring your personal Wi-Fi hotspot wherever you go. With the MiFi 2200, you could tune in to Internet radio with any Wi-Fi enabled device, not just your mobile phone. The New York Times has more on the MiFi, including price and plan rates, here.



share:  del.icio.us.  post this at del.icio.us  Reddit  post this at Reddit  Digg  post this at Digg  Yahoo   post this at Yahoo! my web  Wink   post this at Wink  Windows   post this at Windows Live  Google  post this at Google Bookmarks  Newsvine  post this at Newsvine

Comment

Commenting is closed for this article.


Blogroll
AccuRadio is powered by...
Conference schedules
Sep. 12 SF Music Tech Summit: San Francisco, CA
Sep. 13 RAIN Summit Chicago @ NAB/RAB RadioShow: Chicago, IL
Sep. 14-16 NAB/RAB RadioShow: Chicago, IL
Sep. 24 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: Chicago, IL
Oct. 6-7 Digital Music Forum West: Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 13-14 Digital Content Summit/Music: New York, NY
Oct. 18-22 CMJ Music Marathon: New York, NY
Oct. 27-30 CBI Fall Convention: Orlando, FL
Nov. 5 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: Boston, MA
Nov. 19 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: New York, NY
Dec. 3 IBS Radio/Webcast Conf.: Los Angeles, CA