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CRB Developments: Revised Rates and Terms, Issues about Performance Complement and Small Webcasters

Unsettled issues are flowing into the industry mindspace following the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ruling of new webcast royalty rates to labels on December 16. Broadcast law attorney David Oxenford untangles what the issues mean to broadcasters and small webcasters. Continue Reading

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CRB: Small webcasters face January 1 with fear, anger, hope, and strategies

Small webcasters feel left out. The music licensing terms under which they have been operating since 2006 are about to expire. Countless small businesses, many of them streaming unique programming in specialized music categories, could shut down this week. Owners of independent streaming stations who have contacted RAIN News have expressed dismay, fury, and guarded hope that the omission of a carve-out for small webcasting represents a delayed announcement that could still arrive in time. Continue Reading

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Pandora gets direct deal with Downtown Music Publishing

Pandora has signed another direct deal, this time with Downtown Music Publishing. The rights management firm has music by writers ranging from The Beatles to Hans Zimmer and Jewel to One Direction in its catalog. The press release contains the same type of language that was in the announcements of Pandora’s recent licensing agreements with publishers such as Warner/Chappell, Sony/ATV, and SONGS Music Publishing. Continue Reading

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Observations and Analysis of the CRB Webcaster Rates

by Angus MacDonald

Intellectual property attorney Angus MacDonald was the first to calculate that Pandora paid more than half of all SoundExchange collections of royalties to record labels. At that time he spoke of implications for the Webcasting IV process which ended this week with new webcaster rates for 2016. We asked MacDonald for his thoughts about the ruling, and he sent us his analysis. Continue Reading

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CRB Rate Ruling: $.0017 for Pandora et al, SoundExchange wanted $.0025

At 5:15 Eastern U.S. time, the Copyright Royalty Board released the outline of its Webcaster IV ruling, setting royalty rates paid by Internet radio to music labels for the 2016-2020. Pandora’s rate: $.0017 per stream for non-subscribing listeners. SoundExchange wanted that number to be $.0025. Continue Reading

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CRB rates and Pandora

As the webcasting universe turns its expectant and apprehensive gaze toward the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which will issue new webcasting royalty rates for 2016-2020, Pandora Media has more skin in the game than any other webcasting distributor of music — in a sense. The company has another path to potentially go down. Continue Reading

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CRB announces: New royalty rates to post Wednesday [correction]

As the webcasting world is poised with anticipation, The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has just announced that its royalty rate-setting decision will be publicized on Wednesday. The ruling deadline is Tuesday, and the CRB will deliver its ruling to the Register of Copyrights, and the proceeding participants, for review and removal of sensitive information that will be redacted from public documents. Continue Reading

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Pandora will get its $300-million next week as stock nears YTD low and CRB decision looms

Pandora issued a follow-up press release today, after announcing yesterday that the company is issuing a $300-million debt offering to institutional investors. Pandora stock closed down 11.5% yesterday, and has inched downward another 2% this morning, nearing the year-to-date low of $11.51 per share. Continue Reading

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From the Copyright Office: All labels equal in music royalty rates

One aspect of the music licensing ruling expected from the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has been delivered, as an answer from the Register of Copyrights to a question posed by the CRB. The question? Whether webcasters could pay different royalty rates to major labels and non-major labels. Continue Reading

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Pandora’s Merlin deal affirmed as admissible benchmark for CRB rate-setting

The U.S. Copyright Registrar issued a decision to the Copyright Royalty Board, ruling that Pandora’s use of its licensing deal with indie group Merlin was admissable evidence. It’s important because the Merlin deal is a lynchpin in Pandora’s argument for lower royalty rates starting in 2016. Continue Reading