Feeds

New law could save internet radio

Congress looks to overturn crushing royalty ruling

High performance access to file storage

A law has been proposed in the US Congress that would overturn a recent ruling on internet radio royalty payments. The bill could save internet radio, according to activists.

Earlier this month the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which reports to the Library of Congress, increased the charges which internet radio stations will have to pay in order to broadcast music. Stations claim that the charges in many cases represent more than their total revenues, and that they make it impossible to build a business out of online radio.

The CRB is answerable to Congress, and two members of the House of Representatives have proposed a law which would withdraw the CRB's recent ruling and propose a compromise system of payments.

Internet radio activists say that the system is unfair because it penalises online radio stations unduly. Broadcast radio pays no royalty fees, they say, while satellite radio pays far less than internet radio's new charges.

The new law will charge the same fee to radio stations whether they are provided via satellite, cable, or the internet. It will offer stations the chance to choose to pay 7.5 per cent of their revenues or 33 cents per hour per listener.

The bill was introduced by Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Don Manzullo.

"Since the CRB's decision to dramatically and unfairly increase webcaster royalty rates, millions of internet radio listeners, webcasters and artists have called on Congress to take action," said Jake Ward of lobby group SaveNetRadio. "Today Congress took notice, and we thank Mr Inslee for leading the charge to save music diversity on the internet."

Speaking this month to OUT-LAW Radio's Joe Kennedy, chief executive of Pandora, one of the internet's largest radio-style services, said the threat to online radio was severe.

"The judges adopted the proposal to triple the rates for large webcasters, and for small webcasters it's actually closer to a 12 times increase in the rates that they pay," said Kennedy. "It's an extraordinary increase in the rates that will effectively kill internet radio as we know it today.

"Over 90 per cent of internet radio will simply be gone. The net result will be a huge loss of diversity, a huge loss for music artists and a loss of virtually all of the internet radio that exists."

"You can't put an economic chokehold on this emerging force of democracy," Inslee said, according to CNet News. "There has to be a business model that allows creative webcasters to thrive and the existing rule removes all the oxygen from this space."

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Related link

Internet radio chief lashes out at judges

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.