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Copyright Judges Reject Webcaster Appeals on New Royalty Rates
/ April 16, 2007 6:51 pm

Washington – The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) on Monday issued a ruling denying motions submitted by various webcasters asking the judges to reconsider new, higher royalty rates for streaming music online.

The CRB said the motions, from groups including National Public Radio and the Digital Media Association (DiMA) — which represents large webcasters like Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, RealNetworks and Live365 — contained no new evidence and thus were denied on procedural grounds.

The CRB also declined to postpone enactment of the new rates beyond May 15.

One concession the judges did make was to allow webcasters to calculate fees by average listener hours until next year, when a per-song, per-listener fee will be enacted.

Webcasters will likely now seek relief from an appellate court, possible new negotiations with the record industry, and from Congress.

"The CRB's denial of a rehearing today is all but a nail in the coffin for Internet radio, and May 15 now looms as the day the music will die," said DiMA executive director Jonathan Potter.

"We call on Congress to step in to save Internet radio for the artists, the labels, the webcasters and — most importantly — the tens of millions of listeners."

To that end, a group of webcasters, Web radio listeners, labels and artists on Monday launched the SaveNetRadio Coalition, which bills itself as "a national grassroots campaign aimed at preserving the future of Internet radio."


Related Links: (PDF: Order Denying Motion for Rehearing) (AP)

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