The March 2007 decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to more than double the rates that webcasters pay to stream music over the next three years will have a disastrous effect on Internet Radio. A careful review of the CRB decision reveals that not only is this rate increase unfair and undeserved, but it reflects a fundamentally broken system for determining copyright royalty rates. Many critics, including small radio owners, National Public Radio (NPR), and members of Congress, have spoken out against these increases. Yet unless new legislation or judicial action stops this increase, on July 15, 2007 the new rate will go into effect, retroactive to 2006.
The current system for determining royalty rates is broken. In this event, ITIF described how webcasters currently compensate musicians for their work and the problems and controversy with the recent CRB ruling. Finally, ITIF presented a bold alternative to the current system which would allow copyright owners to establish fair and competitive rates for their music.