Copyright Royalty Board

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The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) is a U.S. system of three copyright royalty judges who determine rates and terms for copyright statutory licenses and make determinations on distribution of statutory license royalties collected by the U.S. Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. The board, made up of three permanent copyright royalty judges, was created under the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004, which became effective on May 31, 2005, when the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel system was phased out. These administrative judges are appointed by the Librarian of Congress.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

United States Copyright Office

The United States Copyright Office, a part of the Library of Congress, is the official U.S. government body that maintains records of copyright registration in the United States including a Copyright Catalog. It is used by copyright title searchers who are attempting to clear a chain of title for copyrighted works.

Library of Congress (de facto) national library of the United States of America

The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. The library's functions are overseen by the librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the architect of the Capitol. The Library of Congress claims to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."


May 2007 webcasting royalty increase

On May 1, 2007, after 48 days of oral testimony (and 13,288 pages of written testimony), the Copyright Royalty Board set new rates for webcasting for the 2006–2010 License Period. [1] The rates are higher than the then-existing royalties paid for non-interactive webcasting. One component of rate increase was to remove the cap on the per-station/channel minimum fee of $US500, which used to be $2,500. [2]

United States dollar Currency of the United States of America

The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the Coinage Act of 1792. The act created a decimal currency by creating the following coins: tenth dollar, one-twentieth dollar, one-hundredth dollar. In addition the act created the dollar, half dollar, and quarter dollar coins. All of these coins are still minted in 2019.

The law requires rates to be based on the price that would be set by a marketplace of willing sellers and willing buyers. Much of the discussion focused on the definition of "willing seller". The Board decided that an individual record company was the basic unit of a "willing seller".

An issue that smaller webcasters raised was the desire to be assured that their fees would not exceed their revenue. The Board rejected this reasoning in their final decision because the ability of smaller stations to generate revenue from their operations has little or no bearing on the market value of the rights held by the copyright holders.

A coalition of webcasters that included National Public Radio (NPR) joined together to request a rehearing on the increase in rates. On April 16, 2007, the CRB rejected the appeal on the grounds that no new evidence was introduced. [3] [4]

License fee rates

Commercial webcasters, per play, per listener rate [5]

Rate (dollars)0.00080.00110.00140.00180.0019

There is a minimum annual fee of $500 per channel or station, payable in advance, against the above per-play fees.

For example, under the 2007 rate, 100 unique listeners of a transmission of a sound recording will cost the transmitter eleven cents. The same 100 listeners previously cost a service a little over seven-and-a-half cents from 1998 through 2005. If a service plays an average of 15 songs an hour, and a listener listens for 9.1 hours a week (the average amount according to recent Bridge reports), the listener would cost the service $0.66 a month.

Noncommercial webcasters [6]

Annual fee $500 per channel or station, up to a total of 159,140 aggregate tuning hours (ATH) per month. After this, the per-play rate for commercial webcasters applies. etc.

See also

The Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP) system was a part of the United States Congress involved in making decisions regarding copyright royalties.

SoundExchange organization

SoundExchange is a non-profit collective rights management organization. It is the sole organization designated by the U.S. Congress to collect and distribute digital performance royalties for sound recordings. It pays featured and non-featured artists and master rights owners for the non-interactive use of sound recordings under the statutory licenses set forth in 17 U.S.C. § 112 and 17 U.S.C. § 114.

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A private copying levy is a government-mandated scheme in which a special tax or levy is charged on purchases of recordable media. Such taxes are in place in various countries and the income is typically allocated to the developers of "content".

A performance rights organisation (PRO), also known as a performing rights society, provides intermediary functions, particularly collection of royalties, between copyright holders and parties who wish to use copyrighted works publicly in locations such as shopping and dining venues. Legal consumer purchase of works, such as buying CDs from a music store, confer private performance rights. PROs usually only collect royalties when use of a work is incidental to an organisation's purpose. Royalties for works essential to an organisation's purpose, such as theaters and radio, are usually negotiated directly with the rights holder.

PRS for Music UK rights society

PRS for Music Limited is the UK's leading collection society, bringing together two collection societies: the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) and the Performing Right Society (PRS). It undertakes collective rights management for musical works on behalf of its 140,000 members. PRS for Music was formed in 1997 following the MCPS-PRS Alliance. In 2009, PRS and MCPS-PRS Alliance realigned their brands and became PRS for Music.

A royalty is a payment made by one party to another that owns a particular asset, for the right to ongoing use of that asset. Royalties are typically agreed upon as a percentage of gross or net revenues derived from the use of an asset or a fixed price per unit sold of an item of such, but there are also other modes and metrics of compensation. A royalty interest is the right to collect a stream of future royalty payments.

<i>SCO Group, Inc. v. Novell, Inc.</i>

SCO v. Novell was a United States lawsuit in which The SCO Group (SCO) claimed ownership of the source code for the Unix operating system, including portions of Linux. SCO sought to have the court declare that SCO owned the rights to the Unix code, including the copyrights, and that Novell had committed slander of title by claiming those rights for itself.

Radio Paradise is a listener-sponsored Internet radio station that identifies itself as an "eclectic online rock radio" station. The channel differs from most FM channels and other Internet stations in that the music played is chosen by human DJs to form thematic relationships in smooth arcs. Also, music is not limited to a narrow range of genres, but instead represent great variety. Radio Paradise plays different styles of pop and rock music, but occasionally other genres from jazz to classical to electronic music and world music. While Radio Paradise is a for-profit business, it does not broadcast commercials but is financially supported through donations from listeners. It is known familiarly as "RP".

LIVE365 is an Internet radio broadcasting and listening network where users are able to create their own online radio stations, or choose to listen to thousands of human curated stations created by people from around the globe. LIVE365 is unique in that online radio stations on the LIVE365 network were created and managed by music and talk enthusiasts, including both hobbyists and professional broadcasters. LIVE365 also has many well established AM and FM stations that utilized the LIVE365 broadcasting platform to simulcast their terrestrial radio streams via the Live365 distribution network. The Live365 network also features radio stations from well-known artists such as Johnny Cash, David Byrne, Pat Metheny, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, and more. LIVE365 was created in 1999, and remains one of the longest running internet radio websites for listeners and broadcasters.

Authors Guild professional organization for writers

The Authors Guild is America's oldest and largest professional organization for writers and provides advocacy on issues of free expression and copyright protection. Since its founding in 1912 as the Authors League of America, it has counted among its board members notable authors of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including numerous winners of the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes and National Book Awards. It has over 9,000 members, who receive free legal advice and guidance on contracts with publishers as well as insurance services and assistance with subsidiary licensing and royalties.

The Internet Radio Equality Act (IREA), originally introduced as H.R. 2060, is proposed legislation by Rep Jay Inslee (D) WA to nullify the May 1, 2007, determination of the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) modifying the current webcast radio royalties and fees retroactively to January 1, 2006. The previous system charged radio stations a per performance rate of $0.000768, and it was that same rate from 1998-2005. The new system, effective May 1, 2007, increased that per-performance rate to the following levels: 2006=$0.0008, 2007=$0.0011, 2008=$0.0014, 2009=$0.0018, and 2010=$0.0019. This bill was introduced on April 26, 2007 by Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-IL) and has been cosponsored by over 100 members of the Congress. It was introduced in the Senate as S 1353 on May 10 by Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KS). The bill's proponents claim that "the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent" when the Copyright Royalty Board's decision takes effect unless the bill passes.

An Internet radio license is a specific type of broadcast license that allows the licensee to operate an Internet radio station. The licensing authority and number of licenses required varies from country to country, with some countries requiring multiple to cover various areas of a station's operation, and other countries not having stringent licensing procedures in place. Licensing costs also vary, based on the number of listeners that a station has, as well as other factors such as the number of songs played, the number of broadcast hours, and whether tracks are dubbed to a digital playout system.

Internet radio audio service transmitted via the Internet

Internet radio is a digital audio service transmitted via the Internet. Broadcasting on the Internet is usually referred to as webcasting since it is not transmitted broadly through wireless means. It can either be used as a stand-alone device running through the internet, or as a software running through a single computer.

SomaFM is an independent Internet-only streaming group of radio channels, supported entirely with donations from listeners. SomaFM originally started broadcasting out of founder Rusty Hodge's basement garage in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, as a micropower radio station broadcast at the Burning Man festival in 1999. The response to the project was sufficiently positive that Rusty Hodge launched it as a full-time internet radio station in February 2000.

Music Reports

Music Reports serves individuals and organizations seeking expertise and solutions in music rights licensing, administration, royalty accounting, and software development and hosting. Music Reports operates the largest registry of worldwide music rights and related business information.

Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act

The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 (DPRA) is a United States Copyright law that grants owners of a copyright in sound recordings an exclusive right “to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.” The DPRA was enacted in response to the absence of a performance right for sound recordings in the Copyright Act of 1976 and a fear that digital technology would stand in for sales of physical records. The performance right for sound recordings under the DPRA is limited to transmissions over a digital transmission, so it is not as expansive as the performance right for other types of copyrighted works. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), enacted in 1998, modified the DPRA.

<i>Arista Records, LLC v. Launch Media, Inc</i>

Arista Records, LLC v. LAUNCH Media, Inc., 578 F.3d 148, is a legal case brought by Arista Records, LLC, Bad Boy Records, BMG Music, and Zomba Recording LLC alleging that the webcasting service provided by LAUNCH Media, Inc. ("Launch") willfully infringed BMG’s sound recording copyrights. The lawsuit concerns the scope of the statutory term “interactive service” codified in 17 U.S.C. § 114, as amended by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 ("DMCA"). If the webcasting service is an interactive service, Launch would be required to pay individual licensing fees to BMG’s sound recording copyright holders; otherwise, Launch only need to pay “a statutory licensing fee set by the Copyright Royalty Board.” internet radio and social networking website is an internet radio and social networking website revolving around the concept of streaming user-curated playlists consisting of at least 8 tracks. Users create free accounts and can either browse the site and listen to other user-created mixes, and/or they can create their own mixes. The site also has a subscription-based service, 8 tracks plus, although its features are still evolving. Currently, a $25 payment purchases a 6-month subscription, during which time advertisements are removed from the website interface while subscribers are logged in. Specific DJ-focused features are in the works, but will likely include profile customization, mix analytics, and unlimited uploads.

<i>United States v. ASCAP</i>

United States v. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) et al., No. 09-0539, 2010 WL 3749292, was a United States Court of Appeals case involving copyright liability for third-party vendors that provide online music download services. In particular, the Second Circuit ruled that music downloads do not constitute public performances, upholding the district court's decision and consequently preventing ASCAP from claiming higher royalty fees from Yahoo! and RealNetworks for downloaded music. However, the Second Circuit disagreed with the district court's method of fee assessment and remanded the case for further proceedings. ASCAP appealed the decision and requested a writ of certiorari for judicial review in the Supreme Court.

Raditaz was an internet radio streaming music service for the web, iOS, and Android. Raditaz was a free product, and users could create stations, listen to over 200 custom-curated stations, and utilize a tagging system to personalize their stations. Users could find stations not just based on artists, songs, and genres, but also based on metadata tags, such as @work, @gym, #happy or @driving. Raditaz had a location layer that enables users to listen to and share stations that are trending throughout the US. The explore feature let a user discover the latest music trends by location. Users could also share songs or stations by email, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Raditaz had more than 23 million songs and uses The Echo Nest music intelligence platform for creating stations. When a user inputs the name of a specific band, artist or song, Raditaz could create a station based on that musician along with similar artists. Users also had the option to add an additional 9 artists to customize a station further. Listeners could adjust the popularity level of the artists and songs found within the station. However, the site has gone offline to undergo a complete makeover, with new features expected when it returns. Listeners using the website had access to free lyrics. The Raditaz revenue model is location-based advertising but no target date for ads has been set.


  1. "Mar 6, 2007 web increases" (PDF).
  2. Jacqui Cheng (2007-03-20). "NPR fights back, seeks rehearing on Internet radio royalty increases" . Retrieved 2007-04-17.
  3. Eric Bangeman (2007-04-16). "Internet radio dealt severe blow as Copyright Board rejects appeal" . Retrieved 2007-04-17.
  4. Mark Hefflinger (2007-04-16). "Copyright Judges Reject Webcaster Appeals on New Royalty Rates" . Retrieved 2007-04-19.
  5. "Mar 6, 2007 commercial rates on page 47" (PDF).
  6. "Mar 6, 2007 non-commercial rates on page 61 and 62" (PDF).