DIMA Glad CRB Said "No" To Soundex Demand

Posted By James on Dec 18 2010 07:15 PM
It’s not often the Digital Media Association (DiMA), which represents (among others) online music services, has positive things to say about the CRB following a new royalty rate announcement.

However, DiMA executive director Lee Knife
yesterday responded to this week’s Copyright Royalty Board
determination of royalty rates for the use of copyright sound recordings
by non-interactive digital services for 2011-2015 (see RAIN coverage here and follow-up here).

“DiMA and our member companies are pleased that the Copyright Royalty Board did not adopt the extremely high rates proposed by SoundExchange,” Knife announced in a press release.

As RAIN reported (via David Oxenford in BroadcastLawBlog here) in setting a “$0.0019 per performance” rate for 2011, increasing to “$0.0023 per performance” in 2015, the CRB rejected royalty proposals from both SoundExchange (which collects and distributes the royalty rates) and Live365
(which litigated rates for commercial operators). SoundExchange
proposed royalty rates starting at “$0.0021 per performance” and ending
at “$0.0029 per performance” in 2015; Live365 proposed rates of “$0.0009
per performance.”

Knife couldn’t help but bemoan the steep increases webcasters have already seen (and, those that pay these new-announced rates will endure a 20% climb over the term).

“Over the past 10 years, webcasters have experienced a near three-fold increase
in the rate they pay SoundExchange for use of sound recordings,” Knife
said. “These dramatic increases have made it difficult for many
webcasters to continue delivering the innovative services that millions
of Internet radio fans have come to rely on.”

He repeated his organization’s call for rate parity
when it comes to digital music licensing for non-interactive services
across various media: “We are hopeful that in 2011 Congress will address
problems in the rate-setting structure, and ultimately develop a system
that enables all music radio services – internet, cable and satellite – to operate and pay royalties according to the same standard, applied under a fair set of rules.”
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