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Webcasters Greet Copyright Announcement With Skepticism

Webcasters Greet Copyright Announcement With Skepticism

Bickering over online royalties continues.
The Webcaster Alliance has issued a cautious response to the federal copyright office’s announcement of dates for a “voluntary negotiation period” for interested parties to try to agree on music Webcasting royalty rates for 2005-06.
“The Copyright Office has been notified of the illegal threats made by the Recording Industry Association of America against some of our members who intended to participate in the 2003-2004 CARP. It is also aware of our pending antitrust suit against the RIAA for the last round of negotiations,” said Ann Gabriel, president of the group.
Noting that the CARP process is under review by the Librarian of Congress on behalf of small Webcasters and pending legislative reform, Gabriel stressed the importance of pursuing the RIAA in court and the value of getting the facts surrounding the licensing process in front of a jury.
Gabriel stated, “To date, the RIAA has only executed licenses with those who could pay the highest rates. This is a clear antitrust violation because, among other things, it amounts to a refusal to deal which unlawfully raised prices. We firmly believe a jury will find in our favor when the facts in our case come to light and the anticompetitive behavior the RIAA has engaged in is exposed.”