NAB Board Adopts Resolution On Internet Royalty Rates

May 22, 2007

The opposition continues over the Copyright Royalty Board’s (CRB) decision to raise the royalty rate for radio stations that stream on the Internet. On May 10, new legislation was introduced to the U.S. Senate which would wipe out the  decision. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KA) introduced the Internet Radio Equality Act, which would vacate the CRB decision and set a 2006-2010 royalty rate for Webcasters at the same rate currently paid by satellite radio (7.5 percent of revenue).

Now, the NAB Radio Board has unanimously adopted a resolution regarding the topic. “The radio board of the National Association of Broadcasters recognizes that the new streaming rates established by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) will cause significant harm to broadcasters that stream over the Internet,” the NAB said in a statement. “The radio board supports a comprehensive approach to addressing the CRB rate determination, including legislation that vacates the CRB decision and establishes an interim royalty rate structure.”

Back in March, the CRB voted to drastically increase the royalties paid to musicians and record labels for streaming songs online. The board’s new rules dictate that the current rate of 0.08 of a cent each time a song is played would more than double by 2010. Since then, many operators of Internet-only radio stations and non-commercial stations that stream online have expressed fears that the new costs will put their Web streams out of business.

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