Live365 Says Webcaster Agreement Doesn't Fit All Sizes
July 9, 2009
Webcasting company Live365 has responded to this week's news that SoundExchange and "pureplay" Internet radio stations had come to a new agreement on royalty rates. The company notes that it appreciates SoundExchange's acknowledgement that "there is not just one size buyer, one size seller" for royalty rates, as opposed to the Copyright Royalty Board's original rates.
However, Live365 notes that the new deal focuses primarily on major webcasters, those earning over $1.25 million per year. The company notes that its stations "never reach even 2 percent of the revenue and listening limits set in this 'Pureplay' deal."
The statement adds that "these smallest of webcasters – microWebcasters – should have the same benefits the major players have secured. However, certain hurdles built into current deals end up subjecting these webcasters to the highest rates. As an example, SoundExchange’s reduced rates for “small Pureplay“ webcasters require an annual $25,000 upfront payment, a fee greater than these microWebcasters can earn with their niche audiences with very limited listening. Even the previous SoundExchange Microcaster offer was the same rates as the full CRB rates. The unintended effect of these high hurdles on tens of thousands of microWebcasters will be an inevitable increase in piracy, going around the rules by just not filing with the Copyright office. This is a result no one supports."
Live365 says that it has submitted an alternate rate proposal for SoundExchange to consider. The proposal suggests the same reduced rates for microWebcasters and larger webcasters, and also "leverages webcasting service aggregators like Live365 and others to assist SoundExchange with the administration, royalty collection and payment, full census reporting, and compliance for tens of thousands of these tiny stations."