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Friday, Jul. 13, 2007 at 11:11 am

American Web Radio Is Saved (For Now)

By Robert Gorell
July 13th, 2007

Amid intense debate and 11th-hour congressional hearings, American webcasters have been spared. As we discussed a few weeks ago, podcasters everywhere united in a day of silence to protest royalty rate hikes that would have crippled Web radio in the United States.

SoundExchange, the performance rights organization that pressured Congress for the rate hikes — and whose site is in desperate need of our services — testified late yesterday that they wouldn’t enforce the new rates, which were to go into effect this Sunday, July 15th, and be retroactive to 2006.

Wired has the scoop:

Going forward without the royalties being collected, SoundExchange and webcasters will negotiate a new royalty rate with Congress looking over their shoulder — “and last but not least, the public looking over Congress’s shoulder.” Alternatively, Congress now has time to consider the Internet Radio Equality Act, which would set webcaster royalties at 7.5 percent of revenue and allow them to continue operating pretty much as they have been.

Either way, this is a big win for webcasters and their listeners. Again, this is a reprieve, and internet radio can’t be considered saved until new rates are set that everyone can live with.

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Comments (3)

  1. [...] Remember the day of Internet radio silence to protest increased royalty rates? Good news: American Web Radio Is Saved (For Now) [...]

  2. I fully agree with your insightful perspective, actually there is a similar thread at Frontier Blog
    ( http://www.hwswworld.com/wp )

  3. Why would artists and composers want to shut down hundreds of webcasters who actively promote their music?

    They should be paid for their creativity, granted, but cutting off your nose to spite your face is dumb.

    How about if webcasters charge artists and composers for the promotion of those musical products?

    It is good news that middle ground is being sought.
    Paul L

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