Copyright Board Announces Royalty Rates For WebcastsMar 5th, 2007 | By James Lewin | Category: Digital Music, Podcasting Law
On Friday, the United States Copyright Royalty Board announced new royalty rates for webcasts, effective from 2006 to 2010.
The new rates force webcasters to pay for each traditionally copyrighted song streamed to each user, and increase over the next few years as follows:
- 2006: $0.0008 to stream one song to one listener
- 2007: $.0011
- 2008: $.0014
- 2009: $.0018
- 2010: $.0019
These fees apply to music that is streamed, not podcasts that are downloaded. Because of the many ways people can publish and listen to music on the Web, though, this is a blurry distinction.
The Radio and Internet Newsletter RAIN calculates that, assuming that the average station plays 16 songs per hour, sites would have to pay “about 1.28 cents” per listener per hour using the 2006 rate, and would owe this retroactively, in addition to licensing fees going forward. RAINs math suggests that the rate would render Internet radio unsustainable, or at the very least, more ad-laden than terrestrial radio — and that’s before the songwriters licenses are taken into account.
Looks like the RIAA is going to drive webcasters to use Creative Commons licensed and other indie music.