Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Internet Radio Dealt A Blow

Copyright Royalty Board rejects appeals from Web broadcasters
By MarketWatch, Apr 16, 2007

Internet radio broadcasters were dealt a setback Monday when a panel of copyright judges threw out requests to reconsider a ruling that hiked the royalties they must pay to record companies and artists.

A broad group of public and private broadcasters, including radio stations, small start-up companies, National Public Radio and major online sites like Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) and Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX) AOL, had objected to the new royalties set March 2, saying they would force a drastic cut in services that are now enjoyed by some 50 million people.
In the latest ruling, the Copyright Royalty Board judges denied all motions for rehearing and also declined to postpone a May 15 deadline by which the new royalties will have to be collected.
However, they did grant leniency on one point, allowing the Webcasters to calculate fees by average listening hours, as they had been, as opposed to the new system of charging a royalty each time every song is heard by an online listener. That exemption counts for last year and this year. After that, the new per-song, per-listener fee structure goes into effect.
Many Webcasters say the sharply higher royalty fees will put them out of business. Talk of the ruling dominated a one-day meeting of Internet radio broadcasters being held in Las Vegas alongside the annual conference of the National Association of Broadcasters, a group representing local radio and TV stations...read more: here

4/17/2007 07:48:00 AM

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