SoundExchange Minimum Fee Offer Draws More Pushback

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A minimum fee olive branch from SoundExchange has now drawn additional pushback, this time from independent station KCRW.

The offer, floated last week, caps minimum per-station fees at $2,500, at $500 per station.  The move is designed to accommodate services like Live365 that dynamically generate channels, though not everyone is thrilled with the offer.  According to KCRW commentator Celia Hirschman, SoundExchange will only cap the channel fees if stations agree to cease lobbying efforts related to the Internet Radio Royalty Act, a bill that threatens to rollback recently-passed internet royalty increases.

Hirschman also noted that the SoundExchange offer would require that broadcasters withdraw legal motions for an emergency stay on the upcoming increases.  Earlier, webcasters filed an Appeal and Request for Emergency Stay with the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, a move that would delay the enactment of rates recently approved by the Copyright Royalty Board, or CRB.  Those changes are slated to go into effect July 15th, a rapidly approaching date.

Lastly, Hirschman also noted that the minimum fees would only extend into 2008, a sunset that only temporarily delays larger financial requirements.  The echoes an earlier protest by the Digital Media Association, a DC-based representative of larger internet broadcasters.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.