Music Royalty Decision Near?

Public radio stations and SoundExchange may be close to reaching agreement on Internet royalties.
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Public radio stations and SoundExchange may be close to reaching agreement on Internet royalties.

SoundExchange executive John Simson told the Associated Press both sides could reach agreement by the end of the month. The music industry group collects royalties from digital broadcasters and distributes them to artists and labels.

At the request of the record labels, in March a three-judge panel of copyright judges imposed higher royalties on all commercial and noncommercial broadcasters that stream music online. Public broadcasters had previously paid a lower rate, but the March decision did not reflect that provision.

Commercial broadcasters continue to wait for relief. NAB and other groups have been trying to negotiate a lower rate.

The online royalty issue is key as consumers increasingly use MP3 players and desktop computers as substitutes for radio. The issue also has implications for future generations of HD Radios.

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