Live365 in the fight for fair rate tables for the long haul

Just in from Mark Lam:

As the clock winds down during this final week before the July 15th deadline, I wanted to update you on Live365’s service plans and our continued activities to oppose the unsupportable new sound recording royalty rates set by the CRB.In answer to the top question on broadcasters’ minds: we have no plans to shut down on July 15th when the billions in per channel minimums and significantly higher rates come due, unless forced to by SoundExchange.

We believe Congress and the public share our outrage over the fundamental inequity in performance royalty rates. Why is it that terrestrial radio pays NO royalties and satellite and cable radio pay much lower royalties than Internet radio to SoundExchange? Many artists have also contacted us to voice opposition to new CRB rates that will decimate Internet radio and eliminate their chance to be heard. The momentum of public opinion and business sense is on our side and we plan to continue to fight for artists, webcasters and their audiences until a resolution is found.

In the meantime, let us assure you: webcasters covered under the Live365 SoundExchange license will not be responsible for any retroactive fees. Upon resolution of the new rates, Live365 will honor its obligation to provide advance notice of any change in pricing with the option for you to continue services or not, prior to imposition of any increases.

Here’s what’s going on this week on the negotiation, legal and legislative fronts.

First, negotiation has been proceeding slowly even though SoundExchange has been requested by Congress to negotiate with webcasters. I am in Washington D.C. this week with other SaveNetRadio Coalition partners to make myself available for face-to-face negotiations with SoundExchange. We’ll keep you posted.

Second, we are continuing with litigation. Although the D.C. Circuit Court just denied our Petition for Emergency Stay of Payments under the new rates, as was expected, we will vigorously proceed with our appeal.

Third, we are still actively pursuing Congressional cosponsors and support of the Internet Radio Equality Act. The bill would throw out the unrealistic CRB internet radio rates and replace them with those paid by satellite radio.

All of us have worked hard to protect the medium that we love. Broadcasters have spent amazing amounts of time and money on PSAs, website updates, interviews, testimonials, letters and calls to Congress. Thank you all for your valiant efforts. In turn, Live365 has invested countless hours of staff time and cash from testifying in the initial hearings over a year ago to our current presence in D.C. As the largest supporter of independent artists through their primary fans—our webcasters, Live365 will continue the battle until there is a resolution. We will continue to fight for parity and fairness as well as be the voice of reason! We firmly believe that we are on the right side of history.

Please stay tuned!

All the best,

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