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SoundEx opens re-up SWSA terms for noncomms

Posted on: 06/01/2007

A settlement offer that would allow noncommercial webcasters to continue operating under the terms of the 2002 SWSA has been extended soundexchangeby SoundExchange at the apparent behest of a letter from members of a key Congressional subcommittee [previous RAIN coverage here and here].

According to a letter from SoundExchange and RIAA general counsel Michael Huppe, SoundExchange "proposes to extend, by private agreement, the key components of the rates and terms adopted for noncommercial webcasters pursuant  to the SWSA, with a few minor modifications, for the current license period."

The offer to noncomms was acquired by RAIN with the help of Intercollegiate Broadcasting System chief Fritz Kass [pictured left].

The exact noncomm terms of the SWSA have been detailed previously by Joel R. Willer, Asst. Professor of Mass Communications at the University of Lousiana at Monroe. A table of those rates and terms is below:

Licensing period Noncomm Educational Entity (single channel)
Other Noncomm Webcaster (single channel)
Noncomm Webcaster (Multiple channels) Recordkeeping fee (all webcasters)
News, talk, sports or business Music/mixed
2004 [1] $250/$500 2 $250 $500 $500 $25
1 An additional Usage Fee is due any month the Webcaster’s average audience exceeds 200 simultaneous listeners (146,000 Aggregate Tuning Hours).

2 An NEE affiliated with an educational institution with fewer than 10,000 enrolled students will pay $250; for an NEE at an institution with 10,000 students or more the fee is $500.

SWSA 2004 Noncommercial Webcasting Usage Fees for Monthly Listening in Excess of 146,000 ATH
Per Performance $0.0002176 (0.02176¢)
Per “Aggregate Tuning Hour” All news, talk, sports, or business $0.0002 (0.02¢)
Music/Mixed $0.00251 (0.251¢)

The SoundExchange letter stresses the necessary compliance of ibs noncommercial webcaster to reporting requirments. Along those lines, the letter notes that one of the "minor modifications" to the SWSA terms "also include a provision requiring that services submit statements of account on a monthly basis whether they owe usage fees or not. Services would alas no longer be permitted to pay a $25 monthly fee in lieu of reporting."

A copy of the noncomm offer letter is available here.

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