Feeds

Royalties deal lets internet radio play on

Copyright compromise reached

The next step in data security

An agreement has been reached to help ensure the future of internet radio by warding off potentially devastating copyright-royalty rate hikes.

The deal is between SoundExchange, a nonprofit royalty collection and distribution organization associated with the Recording Industry Association of America, and three small internet-radio webcasters: radioIO, Digitally Imported, and AccuRadio.

The terms of the agreement were compromises two years in the making.

In March of 2007, the US Copyright Royalty Board dismissed arguments made by the International Webcasting Association and others and instituted a royalty rate structure that was decried by observers such as the Radio and Internet Newsletter as being so weighted toward copyright holders that it would put most music-providing webcasters out of business.

Today's agreement backpedals significantly from the 2007 proposal, and is legally binding under the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008 passed by the US Congress last year and recently updated.

Under the settlement, large commercial webcasters will pay up to 25 per cent of their revenue to copyright holders - a far cry from the 70 per cent or more that would have resulted from the earlier proposal.

Smaller webcasters will pay a fee derived from a calculation based on either a percentage of their revenue or their expenses. A detailed explanation of the terms of the agreement can be found in a posting on the SoundExchange blog.

Although the scope of today's agreement is specific only to the three aforementioned small webcasters, others are expected to quickly sign on. Jonathan Potter, executive director of the online-media trade group Digital Media Association (DiMA), said in a statement: "We are pleased that today's royalty agreement... will provide some relief from the crushing royalties that were imposed by the Copyright Royalty Board."

He continued: "DiMA anticipates that some of our members will take advantage of this new license." But that "some" may grow to "most" as both small and large webcasters examine the deal and consider their limited options.

One top-of-mind internet radio group, Pandora Media, appears ready to jump on board. The Associated Press quotes Pandora's founder, chief strategy officer, and Cat Stevens fan Tim Westergren who said: "For us, it's hard to overstate how significant this is. It was either this or an ugly alternative." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.