Copyright Office Sets Webcasting Rates

The U.S. Copyright Office has given the thumbs-up to an agreement on
royalty rates between the recording industry and online radio
broadcasters,
a move that gives webcasters several royalty payment options.

For the 2003-2004 period, the settlement agreement spells out the
royalty
rates for all webcasters — ranging from Internet-only Webcasters to
subscription services to non-commercial radio broadcast simulcasts.

The deal calls for commercial non-subscription and new subscription
services to decide between paying per performance rates (per song, per
listener) or aggregate tuning hour (per listener, per hour). It also
sets
rates for what is described as “new subscription services” to have the
option to pay a percentage of subscription revenues. Large-scale
commercial
broadcasters also have choices of royalty payment terms, the Copyright
Office said in a statement.

The Copyright Office also designated SoundExchange as the collection and distribution agent for the royalty fees.

The royalty agreement means that large scale Internet-only
webcasters like Microsoft ,Yahoo , America Online and RealNetworks would pay either .0762 cents per song per
listener of 1.17 cents per listener per hour. The minimum payment for
Internet-only webcasters is $2,500.

For subscription services, the Internet-only options are available
along with a third option of paying 10.9 percent of revenues. Fees for commercial and non-commercial radio broadcast simulcasts are fixed separately.

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