KCRW reveals hidden details in SoundExchange offer


KCRW-FM LA's weekly music commentary, On The Beat, revealed that the new SoundExchange offer to webcasters concerning internet music royalties includes quid pro quos that the organization did not disclose in its press release.

KCRW commentator Celia Hirschman reports that webcasters would have to agree to cease their lobbying efforts on behalf of the Internet Radio Equality Act. Currently, 124 Representatives are co-sponsoring the Act, which would overturn the Copyright Royalty Board ruling mandating new higher royalty rates and per channel charges. More Senators are needed to co-sponsor, for the Senate version to gain traction.

Hirschman discloses that the SoundExchange offer only extends for 18 more months. She points out that webcasters would then be forced to "fight all over again" to cover 2009 and 2010, the period included in the CRB decision. 

Sound Exchange has offered to cap the 500 dollar per channel fee at 2,500 dollars. KCRW has since learned that, as part of the agreement, webcasters would also have to withdraw their legal motion for a stay on the per channel minimum issue. An Appeal and Request for Emergency Stay is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Webcasters are asking the Court to stay the new royalties until the appeal is heard.

Hirschman notes that the CRB decision would have disastrous results on major music webcasters. "Live 365 would face 10 million dollars in royalty fees. Yahoo, Real and Pandora collectively owe over a billion dollars in royalties. None of these organizations generate a fraction of income from streaming to possibly pay these fees."
The deadline for paying the 2006 and 2007 royalties is 7/15.