Saturday, March 03, 2007

If They Want to Take My Streaming Internet Broadcasting, They'll Have to Pry it From My Cold, Dead Hands

New Copyright Fees Set For Internet Radio

The Copyright Royalty Board today issued a decision that sets per performance rates that Internet radio stations must pay each time a single listener hears a song. In doing so, the board rejected the pleas of Internet radio providers that sought royalty rates based on a percentage of revenue.

Attorney Dave Oxenford, who represents several webcasters involved in the case, tells Radio Ink, "This decision just makes it that much harder for people to make any money streaming. Some of the big broadcasters may reconsider their streaming operations."

The minimum fee is $500 per channel per year, although Oxenford notes there is no clear definition of what constitutes a "channel" for services that allow users to create individualized playlists.

The rates to be paid are as follows:

2006 - $.0008 per performance

2007 - $.0011 per performance

2008 - $.0014 per performance

2009 - $.0018 per performance

2010 - $.0019 per performance

Oxenford explains that the 2007 rate essentially translates to one-tenth of a penny per song per listener. Extrapolating from there, a webcaster will have to pay one penny for every ten listeners who hear a single song.

For noncommercial webcasters, the fee will be $500 per channel, for up to 159,140 Aggregate Tuning Hours (one listener listening for an hour) per month. Noncommercial webcasters who exceed that level must pay the commercial rate for all listening in excess of that limit.

Oxenford provides more details on his blog, which can be viewed at

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