College Broadcasters, SoundExchange in accord


College DegreeThe new streaming royalty deal for college stations is much like the old one. The agreement, just filed with the Copyright Royalty Board, essentially continues the old agreement for another five years.

Another key feature for College Broadcasters Inc. is a continuation of relaxed reporting requirements. If approved by CRB, CBI noted, “It would also continue to allow student webcasters to continue to file proxy reports in lieu of detailed data due to the nature of their operations and the size of the online audiences.”

CRB must decide if the pact passes a “reasonableness test,” designed to make sure any agreement is fair to all concerned parties. CBI is hoping since the agreement on the docket is essentially the same as the one previously approved, that the CRB process will be swift.

“We have asked the CRB to determine a specific time-line to finalize approval of the settlement, which would allow us to cease litigation in this matter as soon as possible,” says CBI Executive Director Will Robedee. “The previous settlement we reached with SoundExchange took many months to be approved. With this agreement based on a settlement already endorsed by the CRB, I am hopeful that final approval will come soon.”

CRB President Greg Weston called the agreement a huge win for college broadcasters, and was particularly pleased with an increase to the proxy threshold. Currently set at 55,000 total listening hours per month, after which point a proxy report is no longer sufficient, has been raised to 80,000 hours, which Weston believes will encompass 96% of all college audio streaming operations.