Washington, DC (August 28, 2007)--DiMA and SoundExchange have reached an agreement to cap the internet radio $500 "per station or channel" minimum royalty fee previously imposed by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) at $50,000 per service for several of the largest webcasters. The agreement addresses the concerns of those stations webcasting hundreds or even thousands of streams.
Although this agreement applies only to signatory services and only on behalf of SoundExchange members, it is the intention of all parties to present this agreement to the CRB judges and seek its adoption industry-wide, according to a statement from SoundExchange.
DiMA (Digital Media Association, a national trade organization devoted primarily to the online audio and video industries) and SoundExchange also agreed that, beginning in six months, webcasters will provide SoundExchange with a full census of songs performed, rather than a sampling. This is an important tool for the accurate distribution of royalties to independent labels and artists, and for some stations is an automated process.
In addition, SoundExchange and DiMA will form a committee to evaluate the issue of streamripping and potential technological solutions to it. SoundExchange had previously proposed digital rights management implementation as a condition of the proposed fee cap but now states, "There is no requirement that any of the services implement any particular technology, nor that they develop, or accept from a third party, a particular technology."
Jonathan Potter, executive director, DiMA, stated, "We're encouraged by this development and the knowledge that good-faith negotiations have begun. We look forward to the next step of negotiating the royalty rates that will allow for the growth of the Internet radio industry, a platform for music discovery for consumers."
John Simson, executive director, SoundExchange, commented, "With the small webcaster agreement we sent out earlier this week, with progress on the non-commercial webcaster front, and with this agreement, SoundExchange has now addressed the key issues of concern with respect to the CRB rate-setting decision while still protecting the value of sound recordings."
Digital Media Association