CRB ruling goes to Federal Register; appeal window opens for disputing webcast rates

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ruling of new webcast royalty rates to labels was published in the Federal Register yesterday, per process schedule. Now begins a one-month appeal window, during which participants may file litigation which contests the ruling. Who is permitted to appeal, and who is not? Click for details. Continue Reading


Radionomy blocks U.S. listening on TuneIn because of CRB rates

RAIN News has learned that Radionomy has pulled its stations from TuneIn’s U.S. listening audience, over the cost of music licensing under the new Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) royalty rates. Radionomy told RAIN News that the company asked TuneIn to geo-block the U.S. from Radionomy streams. It is the latest disruption in the webcast industry coming from CRB rates implemented on January 1. Continue Reading


Copyright Royalty Board to NAB: Well done, but no dice

One of the most interesting aspects of the full determination just released by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) is the detailed argument put forward by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) that radio simulcasts should pay a lower music royalty rate than pureplay webcasting (e.g. Pandora). The copyright judges praised the NAB witness presentations, but ultimately rejected the attempt. Continue Reading


CRB full decision released; small webcasters not mentioned

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) published its full determination, as expected following the very brief announcement of new webcast royalty rates on December 16. To whatever extent small webcasters cast a hopeful wish that the complete royalty rate decision would offer some sign of a special provision for low-revenue Internet radio, that hope is dashed. Continue Reading


Live365 announces shut-down at the end of January

Live365 has informed at least some of its webcasters that it will be shutting down at the end of the month. The Internet radio hosting platform laid off the bulk of its staff and left its offices at the end of December, shortly after the Copyright Royalty Board decision about new rates, and the expiration of a law protecting small webcasters, sent shockwaves through the webcasting community. Continue Reading


Live365 suffers a collision of misfortunes, lays off most employees and vacates office

Live365, one of the most venerable brands in this industry, is affected by shifting regulations that change the cost of music on January. In addition, the company’s investors have pulled support from the company, forcing an immediate financial crisis. RAIN News has learned that as a result, nearly the entire staff was laid off this week. Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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