Friday, May 11, 2007

Senate bill introduced to save webcasters

After having a near-death experience a few weeks ago, webcasters got another dose of good news. Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced a bill that would vacate a recent ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board. The ruling would have increased royalty rates for webcasters by 300 to 1200 percent (according to

This comes after a pair of representatives introduced a similar bill in the House a few weeks back.

Webcasters had complained the new rates would sink many of their operations. The new rates were slated to go into effect on May 15 , but the CRB decided to push the deadline back to July 15 after an outcry from webcasters.

FMC believes artists should be compensated for their work, but there should also be room for small webcasters to operate, since they provide one of the few outlets for smaller artists and genres that normally don't get radio play. The CRB should adopt a tiered system that charges big webcasters the full rate, while smaller webcasters should get a break.

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