Webcasters’ Royalty Rate Appeal Denied

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Webcaster’s Royalty Rate Appeal Denied Hundreds of U.S.-based net radio station may go silent Monday, as an appeals court denies a motion to delay the onset of new, significantly higher royalty rates.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit has denied a motion to postpone the implementation of new music royalty rates to be levied on U.S.-based Webcasters and online radio stations. In a brief statement, the court denied the appeal, saying the objections raised by webcasters did not meet the "stringent standard" required of an appeal. The denial shoots down Webcasters’ best hope of avoiding a controversial music royalty rate hike enacted by the Copyright Royalty Board in March of 2007; many Internet broadcasters have complained the new royalty rates are onerous and will immediately put them out of business if enacted.

The new music royalty structure enacted by the Copyright Royalty Board imposes a flat-fee per-song royalty structure on music streamed over the Internet, along with a $500-per-channel fee. The new rates will also be imposed retroactively going back to January 2006, and are scheduled to double at the beginning of 2011. The new rates essentially triple the royalty amounts Internet broadcasters would be forced to pay; Internet broadcasters have characterized the new rates as "irrationally high" and say they will be forced out of business by the new regime.

Under the existing royalty agreement, online broadcasters pay an annual fee and 12 percent of their profits to SoundExchange, a music industry organization established to collect royalties from broadcasters. (SoundExchange represents most acts on major labels, but literally tens of thousands of artists whose work is broadcast via the Internet and elsewhere aren’t represented by SoundExchange, or never receive royalties allegedly collected on their behalf by the organization.) SoundExchange has offered to temporarily cap royalty payments and delay the new rates for "small" online broadcasters, but both options were essentially greeted by broadcasters as a "stay of execution."

The music industry has considered the current royalty regime something of a "discount" to jump-start an online broadcasting business, and feels online broadcasters have had more than enough time to build successful operations. Now, they argue, it’s time for online radio to begin paying "real" royalty rates. The industry argues these royalties reflect fair compensation to the artists whose music is broadcast over the Internet-based stations. The Copyright Royalty Board’s new royalty model is distinctly aimed at online broadcasting operations operated by major corporations—like Clear Channel, Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft—rather than independent operations like Pandora, SomaFM, and others.

With the request to delay the new royalty regime denied, U.S. online broadcasters are hoping to gain reprieve by way of direct Congressional action, and are urging net radio listeners to contact their congressional representatives. If legislative action does not materialize, broadcasters will either have to shut down, pay the new royalty rates, or shift their formats to music which isn’t represented by SoundExchange, such as music offered via Creative Commons license or in the public domain.

Barring intevention, the new rates will go into effect July 15, 2007.

Appeals courts are generally restricted to correcting significant errors in procedure and interpretation in trail court, as well as some reviewing decisions and rules enacted by some governmental administrative agencies. Previous efforts to appeal the new royalty scheme to judges overseeing the Copyright Royalty Board were rejected on the basis of webcasters failing to offer new evidence which was not considered during the decision-making process.


Vivint’s Car Guard keeps tabs on your vehicle when you’re not in it

A simple plug-in that you can place in just about any vehicle, Vivint's new Car Guard will automatically detect if your car is bumped, towed, or stolen and will alert you about it.

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.

Fibaro smart devices are now compatible with the Samsung SmartThings hub

Samsung SmartThings now supports even more devices with the integration of Fibaro, a company known for its smart home sensors. Several Fibaro devices are already compatible, with more on the way.
Emerging Tech

Tombot is the hyper-realistic dog robot that puts Spot to shame

Forget Boston Dynamics’ Spot! When it comes to robot dogs, the folks behind a new Kickstarter campaign have plans to stake their claim as makers of man’s (and woman’s) newest best friend.

Walmart drops prices on air fryers from Ninja, Farberware, and more

Walmart dropped prices on best-selling air fryers from Ninja, Farberware, and La Gourmet. Interest in air fryers took off when home cooks realized the possibility for guilt-free fried food when you cook with very little to zero oil.
Smart Home

Amazon cuts prices on Alexa-controlled Echo and Echo Dot bundles

Amazon cut prices on Alexa and Amazon Echo device bundles. The second-generation Amazon Echo and third-generation Echo Dot are bundled in discounted deals with the Amazon Smart Plug. The Echo and Echo Dot are also bundled together.
Smart Home

Protect yourself: Here are some of the best home security systems

Looking for the best home security systems for your house? These systems offer the best mix of devices, smart features, monitoring services, and fees that you can afford (plus good customer service reports).
Smart Home

Postmates now offers a way to get free delivery on meal orders

Postmates is offering customers the chance to order meals with free delivery. But you'll have to be cool with the idea of waiting a little longer, as the delivery driver will be carrying other meals for different customers.
Smart Home

Looking to safeguard your home? These are the best DIY home security systems

Looking for the best DIY Home security systems? These security kits will help you feel safer in no time. Check out our top pick and full list to see which kit will work best for your home.

Air purifiers get steep price cuts on Amazon just in time for allergy season

Spring kicks off allergy season, and Amazon has cut prices on three highly rated air purifiers to bring relief. Allergens and contaminants in the air can have long-term consequences, says the EPA, so proactive steps can help today and later…
Smart Home

Instant Pot has another winner with its Accu Slim sous vide

We all know that Instant Pots are the bomb, but did you know that Instant Pot has a sous vide immersion circulator too? The Accu Slim lets you cook sous vide recipes at home. How does it perform? We tested the device to find out.