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Soundexchange Files Direct Case Requesting Market-Based Webcasting
By MusicDish
(more articles from this author)
2006-01-15
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Washington, D.C., -- SoundExchange®, the digital performance rights organization representing the interests of recording artists and record labels, has filed its direct case with the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, D.C. to request new market-based royalty rates for, among others, Internet webcasters and broadcast simulcasters (“webcasters”). These webcasting rates will be established by a panel of three judges and will be in effect from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2010. October 31, 2005, was the deadline for all participants to submit rate requests.

SoundExchange has requested that nonsubscription webcasters pay royalties equal to the greater of: $0.0019 per performance or rate of $.02945 per ATH (aggregate tuning hour) for Internet-only programming and $0.0247 for broadcast simulcast programming or 30% of revenue. Similar rates were proposed for subscription services with the addition of a per-subscriber per-month minimum of $1.37.

“SoundExchange has proposed rates that reflect the fair market value of the sound recordings used by these services,” commented SoundExchange’s Executive Director, John L. Simson. “The wealth of recorded music that SoundExchange represents, whether released by independents, majors or the artists themselves, is what attracts listeners, and these services should pay marketplace rates to compensate the artists and record labels whose music they are using as the foundation for their businesses.”

“The creation of music depends upon the commitment of substantial resources, including both human and economic. The final result is, therefore, a valuable product,” commented Don Rose, acting president of A2IM (American Association of Independent Music). “While wishing to support webcasting and new distribution platforms, music creators cannot give recordings away at less than market rates, as this formerly ancillary income becomes more important with each passing day. SoundExchange’s rate proposal is to establish marketplace rates and services whose primary business is to distribute music should be willing to pay market rates.”

“AFTRA encourages the growth of new services and their potential for bringing our members’ music to the public. That potential can only be realized if artists are encouraged to create by receiving fair compensation for the exploitation of their work,” added AFTRA’s National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth. “We support SoundExchange’s proposal to ensure that artists receive compensation that reflects fair market value for the exploitation of the recordings which are the core of these businesses.”

Tom Lee, president of the AFM said, “The music that listeners world-wide love to hear is created by thousands of performers who are ordinary business people, as well as creative artists. In order to survive they depend on combining many small and varied income streams from their work. The AFM supports SoundExchange’s efforts to ensure that webcasters pay a fair royalty for the use of recordings – one that will enable music makers, music labels and music services to flourish.”

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SoundExchange is the first performance rights organization in the United States to collect and distribute digital audio transmission royalties to artists and sound recording copyright owners. SoundExchange represents over 1,000 different record companies and 12,000 recording artists, and is seeking out more labels and artists who are owed royalties for sound recordings played on digital cable and satellite television music services, satellite radio services or streamed via noninteractive webcast. The nonprofit organization is governed by a board of artist and label representatives. Services include track level accounting of performances to all members and collection and distribution of foreign royalties to all members. All artists, labels and/or their representatives are invited to visit www.soundexchange.com .


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