Streaming Fees

Luckily Live365 takes care of that, but there have been recent developments in the law that you may not be aware of.

Before October 1, 2008, radio stations were required to pay royalty fees only for music they played on-the-air. These fees are paid to The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and SESAC (which was originally founded to represent European artists). The key common link between these orgainzations is that they are designed to pay royalties to the creators of the music, not the performers. There is a push by lobbyists to Congress to require radio stations to also pay a royalty to performers, but so far that has been approved only for Webcasts.

SoundExchange is the new organization on the block that has been doing the lobbying. The Webcaster Settlement Act was signed into law by the President of the United States on October 16, 2008. According to soundexchange.com, "the act will give SoundExchange the authority to negotiate new agreements with any and all webcasting services on behalf of recording artists and sound recording copyright holders retroactive to 2006." To get the whole story as to how this works, please go to SoundExchange.

This is not a new battle. It has been waging for quite sometime, particularly with small webcasters who often have taken up "Internet Radio" as a hobby. Other websites that allow visitors to listen to music for free include Yahoo! Music and Pandora, both which create individual playlists and recommendations based on previous music choices. This link here will give you an idea where things stood in this arena in 2002.

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