Copyright Royalty Board agrees to rehearing

Copyright Royalty BoardThe recent ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to restructure the way royalties are calculated for internet broadcasters, has lead to heated discussion here on Bluegrass Today as well as in the halls of Congress. It appears as if Congress is not inclined to act at this point to overrule the CRB, but the CRB itself has agreed to a rehearing on the matter.

We’ve documented the efforts of NPR and others to reopen negotiations with the CRB on this issue and it seems their efforts were not in vain. The CRB was petitioned by a number of parties including the NPR, Radio Broadcasters, Digital Media Alliance (DiMA), Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Inc., Small Commercial Webcasters, and others. Written arguments on the issues raised in the motion for rehearing must be filed with the court no later than April 2, 2007.

Commenting at a recent protest of the ruling, DiMA group executive director Jonathan Potter expressed the feelings many have about the rate structure imposed by the ruling.

We do not believe that the Copyright Royalty Board intended to shut down the vast majority of legitimate online radio services immediately when it issued its decision, yet that is the sober reality facing many services

This rehearing basically reopens the negotiations over the fee structure and amounts. Many are hoping this will lead to a more reasonable rate structure resulting in less damage to the growing webcasting industry.