Student Stations Win Copyright Relief Through 2015

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Washington - Dec 16, 2010 -- The United States Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) on Dec. 14, issued an initial determination concerning webcasting sound recording performance fees and terms for the period of 2011-2015. Among several determinations, the CRB adopted rates and terms jointly proposed by College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) and royalty collective SoundExchange for college and other educational stations that play music on the Internet. The rates and terms of the settlement for educational stations maintain the current $500 minimum annual fee, below a threshold listening level, not available to non-student stations, providing these stations a large degree of rate certainty for the next five years.

Perhaps more vital to student stations is relief provided by the adopted settlement in the amount of paperwork required to maintained and reported to SoundExchange.

Under the agreement, the student stations with the smallest audiences are eligible to pay a proxy fee in lieu of collecting, organizing and reporting to SoundExchange a large amount of data that these stations might have trouble producing.

Acting CBI president Candy Walton of the University of South Dakota said, "The CRB's adoption of the rates and terms negotiated by CBI provides student stations with a large degree of rate certainty and much needed options concerning the paperwork involved with webcasting. This is a great victory for student stations and I am happy that we were able to accomplish this for not only our members, but all student stations." She added that the agreement is beneficial to student learning because webcasting is an important component of the future of broadcasting.

CBI negotiated the settlement with SoundExchange under the leadership of station members Will Robedee of Rice University in Houston, TX, and Joel Willer of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, with the aid of pro bono counsel from Sausalito, CA, attorney Catherine Gellis, and Constantine Cannon attorney Mitchell Stoltz in Washington, D.C.

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