Large Webcasters Seek Congress' Help In CRB Controversy
June 8, 2007 at 11:11 AM (PT)
YAHOO CEO JERRY YANG, REALNETWORKS Chairman/CEO ROB GLASER, LIVE365 Chairman/CEO MARK LAM and PANDORA President/CEO JOE KENNEDY yesterday (6/8) sent a joint letter to CONGRESS asking for a closer look at the COPYRIGHT ROYALTY BOARD's decision to raise webcasting royalty rates effective JULY 15. The executives blast the new $500 minumum annual fee per Internet radio channel and say the royalties represent 300% of the pre-existing rate.
The company heads also are asking CONGRESS to consider that many online radio stations face closure under the new rates. "While process is important, we submit that the end result, which threatens the viability of the smallest, most innovative, most artist- and consumer-friendly promotional radio industry, is most significant," the letter states. "We ask you for your help to restore balance and fairness so that this new industry can survive and continue to pay artists reasonable royalties."
We ask you for your help to restore balance and fairness so that this new industry can survive ...
SOUNDEXCHANGE today reacted to the letter by saying, "Prior to [the CRB's] ruling, the rate had remained unchanged for seven years. While many misleading interpretations of these rates have been advanced, it's important for CONGRESS to know their real-world application. Based on 2007 rates, and the average user streaming 473.2 hours of music, the total royalty payment would be $7.81 per year, per user in royalty payments. Compare that to the monthly streaming charge. That’s a good deal for Internet radio."