Public Broadcasters, Sound Exchange Agree to Webcasting Rates Through 2015

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Washington - Aug 11, 2009 - Sound Exchange, the non-profit performance rights organization, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) have reached an agreement to govern CPB-qualified station royalty rates for webcasting through 2015. The agreement allows CPB-qualified stations, NPR member stations and NFCB participant member stations (along with NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International and the Public Radio Exchange) to pay an alternate rate of royalties to artists and copyright owners whose recordings they stream over the Internet.

The agreement was completed in late July but was publicly announced on Aug. 11, 2009, is one of several similar agreements made under the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009, which gave Sound Exchange the authority to negotiate alternative rates and terms to the prevailing royalty rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board in 2007. These modified rates, for qualified public radio stations, are intended to accommodate the special circumstances faced by this group of stations, Sound Exchange said, and do not reflect a market value for music.

Under the agreement, the CPB will pay Sound Exchange a total of $2.4 million for the term 2011-2015, based upon anticipated system-wide usage and centralized administration. If usage exceeds expectations, additional payments will be made, which Sound Exchange will distribute (along with the original lump sum) to the artists and rights owners who helped to create the music.

Sound Exchange has also made agreements with College Broadcasters, Sirius-XM and the National Religious Broadcasters Music License Committee. Terms and rates for each will be published in the Federal Register.

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