U.S. District Court Of Appeals Denies Net Radio Stay; Last-Minute Meeting Scheduled This Afternoon
July 12, 2007 at 2:15 PM (PT)
The U.S. DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS has denied a petition submitted by a number of webcaster associations for an emergency stay, according to the SAVENETRADIO coalition. The stay, if granted, would have delayed the JULY 15 due date of royalty payments owed by webcasters to SOUNDEXCHANGE as part of a rate increase by the COPYRIGHT ROYALITY BOARD. The 300%-1,200% increase of the sound recording royalties webcasters pay to play music online has been hotly contested by webcasters, Net radio listeners and more than 6,000 artists over the past three months.
"We are disappointed that the court failed to acknowledge the irreparable and, quite frankly, devastating effect these new royalties will have on the Internet radio industry," said SAVENETRADIO spokesman JAKE WARD. "An invoice of more than $1 billion must be paid in four days, which is unfathomable for an industry that grossed less than $200 million last year. This is a setback, but it is certainly not the end of the road. More than 70 million Americans listen to Internet radio and tens of thousands of artists depend on webcasters to promote their music; webcasters aren't going to simply give up the music they love without a fight. SAVENETRADIO and its partners continue to urge net radio supporters to contact their congressional representatives and ask them to support the Internet Radio Equality Act, which now has 128 co-sponsors in the House. We will fight against this unreasonable rate increase until a solution is reached."
SAVENETRADIO is urging people to call their senators and representatives immediately to ask them to support the Internet Equality Act. Congressional contact info can be found here.
"If they've already co-sponsored, thank them and tell them to fight to bring the bill to the floor for an immediate vote," SAVENETRADIO pleads. "If the line is busy, please call back. Call until you know your voice has been heard. Your voices are what have gotten us this far -- Congress has listened. Now, they are our only hope. We are outmatched by lobbying power and money, but we are not outmatched by facts and passion and the power of our voices."
Meeting Scheduled For This Afternoon
The Chairman of the House Commerce Committee has summoned representatives from the webcasting and recording industries to a roundtable discussion today in WASHINGTON, DC.
Within the hour, the group will meet in attempt to broker a settlement that would relieve webcasters from the devastating royalty rates set to go into effect on SUNDAY.