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. Unless new legislation or judicial action stops this increase, the new rate will go into effect on July 15, retroactive to 2006.
In a report to be released on Thursday, May 10, 2007 the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) argues that the current system for determining royalty rates is broken. The report examines how webcasters currently compensate musicians for their work and the problems inherent in the recent CRB ruling. In addition, the ITIF report presents a policy alternative to the current system that would allow copyright owners to establish fair and competitive rates for their music.
ITIF will host a briefing event around the report release featuring presentations from Rob Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, and Daniel Castro, Senior Analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Copies of the report will be distributed at the briefing event and will be available online at 11:00 AM at www.itif.org.