Final Webcasting Royalty Rates Published - A Comparison of How Much Various Services Pay

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Last week, the Copyright Office published in the Federal Register the final decision of the Copyright Royalty Board on the statutory rates for Internet radio royalties - royalties paid by webcasters for the noninteractive streaming of sound recordings. As we have made clear before, these are royalties that are paid in addition to the royalties paid to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for the public performance of the musical compositions (see our memo on Using Music in Digital Media, here, that explains the difference between the sound recording and musical composition royalties). The rates adopted by the CRB are the rates to be paid by any webcaster who has not elected alternative rates available under one of the many settlement agreements between SoundExchange and groups of webcasters, which were entered into under the Webcaster Settlement Acts. The Final Decision corrects a few typos in the initial decision, but otherwise leaves the substantive holdings of the decision unchanged. We described those holdings here. While the publication of the final decision starts the clock running on filing an appeal, the new rates are unchanged from those that were in effect for 2010 for commercial webcasters who had not elected any available alternative set of rates. Thus, these webcasters will continue to pay at the rate of $.0019 per "performance" (a performance being one listener listening to one song - e.g. if there are 100 people listening to a stream that plays 10 songs in an hour - there are 1000 performances in that hour) for the remainder of 2011. The publication of these rates has, however, triggered a number of questions about the comparative royalties that different Internet radio services pay for streaming music on the Internet - rates summarized below.

Please see full article below for more information.

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