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Web Radio Royalty Battle Takes New Turn

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The battle over radio royalty rates will likely continue into 2009, with the latest issue tackling how and when cable, satellite, and Internet stations should report their playlists to copyright holders in order to determine payment.

The Copyright Royalty Board, a government body that sets royalty rates, released a notice on Tuesday that suggests altering the reporting requirements for stations.

CRB wants any entity that pays royalties under sections 112 and 114 of the Copyright Act, including Internet radio, satellite radio, digital cable radio, and any other radio-like services delivered by digital means to report every single song they play on the air to SoundExchange, which governs the music industry's royalty rates. Under current rules established in 2004, they are only required to report their playlists for two weeks every quarter.

Pure Internet radio stations like Pandora will not really be affected by this type of “census reporting" because they already agreed last summer to report all activity electronically.

CRB also noted that satellite and cable could have difficulty actually calculating how many users are listening to a particular song, and might have to come up with an alternative means of payment.

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This story appears courtesy of PC Magazine.
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