U.S. Copyright Board Threatens Dramatic Cost Adjustments for KUT
June 25, 2007
Webcasters are supporting the Internet Radio Equality Act, which has garnered bipartisan support in the House as well as the Senate. In addition, they have filed appeals and a request for a stay with the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC.
If none of these tactics succeed, webcasters will be required to send checks to Sound Exchange, the collection agency for the record companies and the artists, after July 15. Rates are retroactive to 2006.
KCRW General Manager Ruth Seymour joins Pandora, Live365, Yahoo, AccuRadio, SomaFM, indie webcaster BAGeL Radio and public radio station WAMU/Washington, DC to describe the effects that the new rates will have on their ability to stream and to serve audiences online.
Mike Riksen: Vice President for Government Relations, National Public Radio
Kurt Hanson: Publisher of RAIN, the Radio and Internet Newsletter
Tim Westergren: Founder of Pandora.com
Caryn Mathes: General Manager of WAMU, American University Radio
Ian Rogers: CEO of Yahoo! Music
Ted Leibowitz: Music Director of BAGeL Radio
Johnny Floater: General Manager of Media, Live365.com
For more information, visit KCRW.com.
June 21, 2007
From a U.S. House media advisory: “The House Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing entitled ‘Assessing the Impact of the Copyright Royalty Board Decision to Increase Royalty Rates on Recording Artists and Webcasters.’ Small Webcasters that provide daily music entertainment to individuals nationwide will be at risk of going silent on July 15, after an increase in royalty rates from the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) comes into effect.
“The hearing will examine the decision to raise rates, the impact it will have on Internet Radio, and the challenges of providing fair compensation for copyright owners while maintaining a business environment that allow small Webcasters to thrive.
“The committee will hear testimony from various Internet Radio outlets, as well as music artists that stand on both sides of the issue.”
When: Thursday, June 28 10 a.m.
Where: 2360 Rayburn House Office Building.
May 16, 2007
The public broadcasting advocacy site, Tell Them Public Matters, has now been updated to include information on the CRB ruling and NPR’s legislative response.
Visit the site to make your views known to Congress.
May 3, 2007
We are very concerned about a recent ruling of the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) that may dramatically increase the costs for KUT to stream our unique music programming. The new scheme ignores public radio and KUT’s public service mission to bring a diverse range of music, often overlooked by commercial media, to as wide an audience as possible. Under the CRB ruling, public radio webcasters will pay per-song and per-listener fees that increase exponentially with audience growth, creating a disincentive to bring diverse music to more people in the community.
The business of online streaming of our programming is already upside down in that after making substantial investments in the creation and acquisition of content, we additionally pay for the bandwidth to deliver it to listeners online. The more who listen, the more it costs to deliver. The current ruling will add additional and substantial per listener costs.
Hosts and Musical Guides Not Clerks
Outside of live performances, virtually all the music KUT plays comes from our library of CDs and LPs. Our popular Twine Time program draws heavily on LPs and 45s. This music is hand selected by a music staff that is knowledgeable and passionate about discovering and playing innovative music.
The CRB ruling will require significant and detailed record keeping that could add hours of clerical duties to the current workload of our music staff. With significant technology investments it may be possible to automate some of this process, but such systems rely on accessing digital databases of artists and music. In a time and resource restrained environment, there would be an incentive to only program music that is in the database and likewise, a disincentive to program innovative and independent music as well as rare recordings that will require significant clerical efforts.
On April 29, Congressmen Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Don Manzullo (R-IL) introduced H.R. 2060, the Internet Radio Equality Act, which nullifies the decision of the Copyright Royalty Board. Whatever your opinion, you can share it by contacting your congressional representatives.
In the meantime, we will continue to broadcast and stream music that is hand-picked for qualities of substance and integrity. Music that matters to Austin and Central Texas.
Director and General Manager
Contact:: Rich Dean, Director of Channels 512.471.8704 email@example.com