SoundExchange Reaches Accord on Minimum Fee Cap
SoundExchange announced today that it had reached agreement with several of the largest webcasters on SoundExchange's proposed cap on the minimum fee charged against royalties for sound recordings played on Internet Radio. Recently-enacted regulations by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) require each webcasting service to pay a $500 minimum fee "per station or channel" regardless of the overall number of stations/channels they are streaming. Today's agreement addresses the concerns of certain webcasters about their liability for per channel minimums by calling for a cap of $50,000 per service on the $500 per station advance against royalties.
Although this agreement applies only to signatory services and only on behalf of SoundExchange members, it is the intention of all parties to present this agreement to the Copyright Royalty Judges and seek its adoption industry-wide.
Today's agreement also calls for census reporting (i.e.: reporting all tracks played by a service as opposed to a sampling) and cooperation on discussion and assessment of anti-stream-ripping technologies. There is no requirement that any of the services implement any particular technology, nor that they develop, or accept from a third party, a particular technology.
John Simson, Executive Director of SoundExchange, had this to say about today's developments:
"This agreement shows that we can address specific issues of concern to the industry through private negotiations while upholding the integrity of the CRB process and while protecting the interests of SoundExchange members.
"With the small webcaster agreement we sent out earlier this week, with progress on the non-commercial webcaster front, and with this agreement, SoundExchange has now addressed the key issues of concern with respect to the CRB rate-setting decision while still protecting the value of sound recordings. We now hope to move forward together with our partners, the webcasters, in providing an enhanced listening experience through Internet radio."
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