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Webcasters, RIAA Reach Agreement

Webcasters, RIAA Reach Agreement

A group of Webcasters have come to a copyright royalty rate agreement with the recording industry on copyright royalty rates for sound recordings streamed over the Net. Notably not included in the agreement were broadcasters or third parties making simultaneous retransmissions of AM or FM broadcasts.
The agreement covers the period of 2003-04. The royalty rates outlined are almost identical to the seven one-hundredths of a cent per song/per listener rates laid down by the U.S. Copyright office for 2002 retroactive back to October 1998. The agreement also offers an “11 percent of revenues” option.
Congress this month held hearings on H.R. 1417, which would revise the copyright office’s arbitration process on sound recording copyright disputes. Some have expressed worry the new agreement will lessen the pressure on Congress to act.
Broadcasters have insisted the legislation outlining copyright royalties for Webcasting does not include them. Though they have lost several appeals on this matter, they are awaiting a decision on the appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.
Small Webcasters that have elected to pay royalties under the Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002 and non-commercial Webcasters are also not included in the agreement.