Though I have learned to wait for the other shoe to drop regarding these negotiations, this deal sounds very reasonable:
- College radio stations have reached an agreement with the recording industry to reduce the fees the stations must pay when they play music online.
The agreement, reached Friday, supplants a controversial fee structure announced last year by the librarian of Congress. It also releases college and other noncommercial stations from a requirement that they keep detailed digital records of all music that they play over the Internet, or Webcast.
Under the agreement, a noncommercial radio station at a college that enrolls fewer than 10,000 students will pay a blanket Webcasting fee of $250 per year. But if its listeners exceed 146,000 hours’ worth of music per month — the amount that 200 people listening around the clock would hear — the station pays two-hundredths of a cent per song per listener above the limit.
A radio station at a college with more than 10,000 students must pay $500 per year for Webcasting. The limit on how many listener-hours it can accumulate is the same.
Observers say very few stations, if any, are likely to exceed the 146,000-hour ceiling. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
This shouldn’t break anyone, should allow all stations to webcast without undue cost anxiety and gives the copyright holders an ounce, rather than a pound, from each college station. There are still other issues for the collegestations:
- Mr. Robedee, who is also general manager of Rice University’s KTRU-FM, said that now that the fee dispute has been settled, he wants to lower other barriers that prevent college stations from Webcasting.
He is trying to persuade Congress to change parts of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that restrict what stations can play online. Under the law, Webcasters cannot play consecutively more than two songs from one CD, or more than three songs from a boxed set. Nor can they play within a three-hour period more than three songs from one disk or more than four songs from a boxed set.