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Net radio "minimum fees" now due

Posted on: 01/31/2008

From David Oxenford in the BroadcastLawBlog: Each year, Internet radio stations must pay a minimum fee to SoundExchange, and that fee is due [today,] January 31.

These minimum fees are applied against the obligations of an Internet radio service to pay royalties for the use of sound recordings on their stations. SoundExchange does not send bills, so webcasters must remember, on their own, to make the payments.

For commercial webcasters (including broadcasters who stream their signals on the Internet), under the Copyright Royalty Board decision released last March [RAIN coverage here], a minimum fee of $500 per channel is due… SoundExchange and certain large webcasters agreed to cap this minimum fee liability at $50,000 no matter how many channels a webcaster transmits [RAIN coverage here]… Minimum payments are also due from noncommercial and small webcasters.

Under the CRB decision, noncommercial webcasters also owe a minimum fee of $500.

Small webcasters who earlier this year accepted the SoundExchange offer [covered in RAIN here], owe a minimum fee of $2000 if they had 2007 revenues of less than $50,000, and minimum fees of $5000 if their 2007 revenues exceeded $50,000. Note that details about these minimums are difficult to locate on the SoundExchange website. Nevertheless, the current rules require that these payments be made.

Read Oxenford’s full post here.

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