WASHINGTON, June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SoundExchange announced
that it proposed a voluntary cap on the minimum fees charged against
royalties for sound recordings played on Internet Radio. SoundExchange
proposed capping such advance payments at $2,500 per service. Recently
enacted regulations (due to go into effect on July 15) require each
webcasting service to pay a $500 minimum fee "per station or channel"
regardless of the overall number of stations/channels they are streaming.
By making this offer, SoundExchange is addressing certain webcasters'
concerns about their liability for per channel minimums.
"There was a lot of misunderstanding out there about how the minimum
fee would apply, and frankly some people were wrongly stating
SoundExchange's policy on this matter," said John Simson, Executive
Director of SoundExchange. "We certainly don't want anybody to get unduly
hurt by the minimum fee, but there is a value to music and a cost to
administering the digital royalty program, and we wanted to ensure that
everyone was treated fairly -- artists, webcasters and record labels."
SoundExchange has reached out to the Digital Media Association this
week to discuss the proposal, including the most effective means for
implementing this relief as broadly as permitted under the law. "The idea
that the per- channel minimum might have a disproportionate impact on
certain Internet Radio stations was never presented to the Copyright
Royalty Judges," said Michael Huppe, General Counsel of SoundExchange.
"Nonetheless, at the request of Congress, we are trying to work with the
small subset of affected webcasters, and are offering this proposal in the
hopes of addressing those concerns."
SoundExchange is also currently in active negotiations with small
commercial webcasters and non-commericial webcasters such as public radio
and college stations to provide below-market rates under terms similar to
those they enjoyed in previous years under the Small Webcaster Settlement
Act. Together with this minimum cap proposal and its effort to accommodate
small and non-commercial webcasters, the recording artists, independent
record labels and large record companies that comprise SoundExchange have
made a good faith effort to address the elements of the recent webcasting
ruling that have been of concern to Congress and to individual webcasters.
"I've said all along, we are in this together. We want to see artists
and labels fairly paid for the music they provide and we want to see
Internet radio grow and flourish," said Simson. "There's no question the
new rates set by the Copyright Royalty Judges are fair and are reasonable
in the current market. In proposing these various accommodations to
webcasters (especially small and non-commercial webcasters), SoundExchange
has taken the initiative to attempt to address the concerns that have been
raised by Congress and affected webcasters." Simson also noted that, in
yesterday's hearing on webcasting royalty rates before the U.S. House
Committee on Small Business, the panel's ranking Republican, Steve Chabot
of Ohio, concurred with Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., when she
surmised, "I really don't think Congress is the best vehicle to resolve
this type of issue."
For additional information please visit http://www.soundexchange.com
Contact: Richard Ades or