Webcasters Plan to Shutter Streams

Webcasters Plan to Shutter Streams
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Webcasters Plan to Shutter Streams

More than a dozen Webcasters say they will shut down their businesses if a proposed copyright royalty is finalized as is. The webcasters are lobbying Congress to get the proposed rate - 14 cents per song streamed to consumers - reduced or eliminated.
The Webcasters are telling lawmakers they'd like to see a royalty such as ACSAP or BMI, where stations pay passed on revenues, not by how many times a copy-right protected song aired.
"This is not about seeking a free ride as some have accused. We are simply asking for what is fair so we can grow our industry," said Kevin Shively of Beethoven.com in Hartford, Conn.
The two dozen Internet radio companies involved in the lobbying effort claim a total of 2,000,000 consumers listened to their streams in April. Most listening is done via computers during the day, they said, but Webcasters are hoping to get their streams heard in cars, via wireless Internet technology, in 3 to 5 years.
Until then, they say, streaming is in its infancy, and a high royalty could bankrupt many Internet radio firms right now.
A decision on the royalty rate is expected next Tuesday by the U.S. Copyright Office.