Bill Introduced to Overturn Streaming Royalty Rates

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Washington - Apr 27, 2007 - A bill was introduced in Congress on Apr. 26 that seeks to overturn the unpopular streaming royalty fee increase. Opponents of the royalty increase say that the fees will cripple if not destroy their streaming services.

Representative Jay Inslee of Washington and Don Manzullo of Illinois have offered the Internet Radio Equality Act that seeks to invalidate the March 2 decision by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that raises royalty rates paid by Internet radio broadcasters. NPR, Clear Channel and many small webscasters filed for a rehearing on the CRB matter, but those requests were denied.

The bill would repeal the CRB ruling and set a rate of either 7.5 percent of a webcaster's revenue that is directly related to its transmission of sound recordings or 33 cents per hour of sound recordings transmitted to a single listener. Each webcaster would be allowed to choose his payment calculation method. CNET reports that the proposed rates would also apply to satellite and cable radio operators.

In addition, the bill charges public radio broadcasters to submit a report to Congress that would detail how these outlets would determine rates for services.

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