Interesting article in Saturday’s Washington Post about how Pandora internet radio is facing heightened fees that might force them to shut down the site. A good summary is provided here and quoted in part below.
1. The royalty payments at stake are supposed to compensate performers (and their record labels) for the use of their music, much as songwriters have long received a small royalty payment for the use of their work.
2. But unlike royalties paid to songwriters, these “performance royalties” don’t apply to FM or AM — whether analog or digital HD Radio broadcasts — but do cover satellite, cable and Internet broadcasts.
3. Cable and satellite broadcasts pay a simple percentage of their revenues.
4. The proposals cooked up by the Copyright Royalty Board (a panel of judges appointed by the Librarian of Congress to settle certain intellectual-property disputes) and backed by SoundExchange, the theoretically nonpartisan group charged with collecting these royalties, would impose a per-song, per-listener fee that many Webcasters say would put them out of business.
Tip of the hat to overlawyered.