Chicago, IL | September 21, 2012 ““ Speaking as a member of the “Small Webcaster Alliance,” a group of smaller “pureplay“ webcasters that includes AccuRadio, Digitally Imported, 977 Music, and Radio Paradise, AccuRadio CEO Kurt Hanson issued the following statement today regarding the Internet Radio Fairness Act of 2012:
“This bill will provide fairness for internet radio by putting it under the 801(b) standard for determining copyright royalty rates. The 801(b) standard is used in many industries and it has worked well for many years, including for other forms of digital radio like satellite radio, radio on cable TV, and even by record labels in cases where they are the copyright users.
“Internet radio currently operates under a different system: In 1998, Congress passed a law for Internet radio (in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)), instructing the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to set a rate ‘that a willing buyer and a willing seller would agree to.’ The difficult-to-interpret language of that standard has been a nightmare for our industry ever since, leading to CRB decisions that have forced Internet radio companies to pay unreasonably high royalty rates and hindering innovation and growth.
“The 801(b) standard is a set of four criteria the U.S. Copyright Office has historically used to determine a royalty rate:
— Maximize the availability of creative works to the public;
— Insure a fair return for copyright owners and a fair income for copyright users;
— Reflect relative roles of capital investment, cost, and risk, and;
— Minimize disruptive impact on the industries involved.
“These criteria seem, and in fact are, reasonable. Not only will passage of the bill benefit webcasters, but it will also benefit artists by expanding the market for digital radio providers, creating more opportunities for artists to be paid for their work. Passage of the Internet Radio Fairness Act will help level the playing field for Internet radio.”