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Small Webcasters could Save Big

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SoundExchange, the organization that collects webcasting royalties for labels and performers, just announced that it would extend until 2010 the discounts for small webcasters that expired in 2005. I haven’t seen the fine print, but on the surface it looks like good news for the smaller players in the market who can’t afford the rates set by a panel of copyright royalty judges. Congress mandated the original discounts in 2002 after small commercial webcasters -- and religious broadcasters, who had a powerful Senate ally in North Carolina’s Jesse Helms -- said the initial royalty rates set by the Librarian of Congress would drive them out of business. Under the new proposal, webcasters that met the deal’s size limits would pay 10% of the first $250,000 in gross revenue, then 12% of the revenue after that, instead of a fixed fee per song played to each listener. More to come.


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