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Webcast Rates for 2011 and Beyond Are on the Table

If you want to weigh in, here's important information

“It’s already time for non-interactive Webcasters … to worry about another increase in the rates for 2011 and beyond.”

That includes radio stations simulcasting an over-the-air signal on the Internet, says Kevin Goldberg of law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth.

He reports that the Copyright Royalty Board is accepting petitions to participate in an upcoming proceeding to set royalty rates for 2011–2015 under the statutory license for digital performance of sound recordings — even though controversy continues over royalties for 2006-2010.

“With the appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board’s March 2007 rate-setting decision still pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the CRB is already starting up the next ratemaking proceeding,” Goldberg states. “Of course, this also comes as the CRB considers extending the requirement that Webcasters must file reports containing certain information about all songs performed from two seven-day periods per quarter to a comprehensive, year-round, ‘census’ filing.”

He says the next ratemaking proceeding is a “trial-type process whereby interested parties present detailed statistical and economic evidence designed to assist the CRB in determining the value of a non-interactive performance of a sound recording (that particular version of a musical work that you hear over the Internet) under a ‘willing buyer/willing seller’ standard.”

Anyone can participate, though “the extended and intensive proceeding often deters individual Webcasters from joining in the fun, especially if they believe that one or more trade associations will represent their interests.” But he says it only costs $150 to file; the deadline is Feb. 4.

Details are here in PDF form.