Washington - SoundExchange, the entity set up by the record labels to collect and distribute digital music royalties, announced on Wednesday that it has offered small webcasters a discounted rate through 2010, under essentially the same terms set out in the Small Webcaster Settlement Act.
Under the terms, small webcasters — defined as those earning $1.25 million or less in total annual revenues, and 5 million or fewer aggregate tuning hours each month — would pay royalty fees of 10% or 12% or revenue.
The proposal would only cover music from major labels and other represented by SoundExchange, while other music would be subject to the full royalty rates.
Small webcasters have until Sept. 14 to accept the agreement; those who do not sign, but continue streaming, will be held to the much higher rates announced by the Copyright Royalty Board in March.
SoundExchange said it is making the offer in response to concerns expressed by small commercial webcasters, and a request from Congressman Howard Coble (D-Calif.) and Howard Coble (R-N.C.).
"Representatives Berman and Coble believed that extending to 2010 the terms that small webcasters had from 1998 through 2005 was a reasonable way to give them some business certainty as they grow their services, and so we acted," said SoundExchange executive director John Simson.
"These rates, however, mean no increase in royalty payments to artists and labels over 13 years."
Simson did not address any ongoing negotiations between the agency and large webcasters, other than to note that, "substantial progress has been made on all of the issues of concern with respect to the CRJ's decision on webcasting."
http://tinyurl.com/3xvgy (Small Webcaster Settlement Act)