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SoundExchange Calls On Webcasters To Recognize Value Of Music Performers To Web-Business
By Mi2N
(more articles from this author)
2007-03-30
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SoundExchange called on internet radio and broadcast radio simulcasters to publicly acknowledge the value of musical performers to the success of their businesses, and to acknowledge the recent royalty setting process for such work was fair to all involved.

"The music created by artists is the main reason why people listen to internet radio, and those artists should be fairly compensated for the value they bring to each webcaster's business," said John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange. "Yet, the webcasters refuse to acknowledge this common sense fact. Webcasters have a number of opportunities to maximize revenue with a captive audience attracted by music created by artists through banner ads, pop-ups, video pre-rolls, audio commercials and other avenues of revenue generation. While we want internet radio to succeed, it is only fair that artists be compensated for the value of their work, which forms the basis of their business."

The decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) on March 2, 2007, established performance royalty rates webcasters will pay artists and record labels based upon the fair market value of their work. This decision was a balanced, well-reasoned opinion that considered all sides of this issue. (A summary of the decision is attached.) Unfortunately, some in the webcasting industry have been engaged in a campaign of misinformation about the process, the decision itself and the impact of the decision on the participants.

"Recent claims by a few webcasters that the process was unfair simply reveal that their complaints are not really about process, but rather about results," said John Simson, Executive Director of SoundExchange. "Webcasters like AOL, Clear Channel, and others want to impose low rates on artists, rather than accept fair market rates as the law requires. They may disagree with the ruling, but they should be forthcoming about the integrity of the process."

The CRB reviewed written and oral testimony from almost 50 witnesses during 48 days of hearings that totaled over 13,000 pages of transcripts. The webcasters cross-examined all of SoundExchange's witnesses and had access to hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. The webcasters and SoundExchange also submitted over a thousand pages of written findings, which the CRB reviewed before issuing its 115-page decision.

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