SoundExchange, the group pushing for the copyright royalty rates to be revised, says proponents of the Internet Radio Equality Act are painting a distorted picture, and that Internet radio is not going to “die” under the new rates.
SoundExchange collects and distributes digital audio transmission royalties to artists and sound recording copyright owners. SoundExchange says it represents more than 2,000 record companies and thousands of recording artists. The performance rights entity also says the Webcasting music business is “dominated by 10 large, highly-profitable companies.”
Under the bill, “large commercial services like Clear Channel and Microsoft would experience a windfall in excess of $10 million a year that otherwise would be paid to artists and labels,” stated John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange.
Opponents of the CRB rate decision paint a picture of a Webcaster industry made of small, largely non-commercial Webcasters who will be forced out of business by the new CRB royalty rates, he said. The group says that’s a distortion, and if fact, Webcasting is growing and dominated by 10 large groups, including AOL and Yahoo!.
SoundExchange calls the CRB rate increases “modest,” at a 5% increase for 2006 while the 2010 rate reflects an 8% annualized rate increase since 1998.
SoundExchange also wrote, “In a blatant attempt to derail the growing movement to secure fair royalty payments for performers in all types of media, the National Association of Broadcasters recently added to the disinformation campaign with the absurd characterization of Webcasting as ‘a fledgling audio platform.’”