Giornate al cardiopalma per il partito della Web radio. Prima una corte d’appello distrettuale di Washington aveva negato la moratoria chiesta dalle associazioni di settore per evitare il pagamento delle nuove tariffe previste per la trasmissione via Web di musica protetta da copyright. Poi, a quanto sostiene il San Jose Mercury News, dalla stessa SoundExchange, l’organismo incaricato di fungere da collettore dei soldi versati dalle stazioni Internet, arriva una possibile ancora di salvezza: la raccolta delle “fee” non inizierà finché sono in corso le discussioni con la controparte su possibili accordi speciali. In Congresso, nel frattempo, prosegue il suo iter una proposta di legge che dovrebbe assicurare alle Web radio un regime di franchigia.
July 13, 2007
Net radio’s executioner halts ax in midair
Posted by John Murrell at 10:08 am
This hearkens back to those dramatic serials in the early days of radio in which the protagonist was left in peril at the end of each episode, only to escape the next week and battle against new threats. Seemingly out of chances to block Sunday’s imposition of crushing new royalty fees, thousands of Internet radio broadcasters, large and small, looked to be on the verge of shutting down or scaling way back (see “Weekend forecast: sunny Saturday, Internet radio doomsday Sunday“). Late Thursday, a reprieve came from the only entity able to offer one — SoundExchange. The licensing body said it would not begin collecting the new fees Sunday and would hold off while negotiations continue. Wired reports that the talks have already cleared one contentious issue off the table, at least for now — the minimum charge of $6,000 per channel required under a scheme created by the Copyright Royalty Board. With the large webcasters streaming thousands of personalized “channels,” the fee would cost them millions.
Even though Net radio remains on the razor’s edge, subject to the good graces of SoundExchange, webcasters were encouraged by the development. “It was getting pretty close,” said Tim Westergreen, founder of popular service Pandora. “I always had underlying optimism that sanity was going to prevail, but I was beginning to wonder.” And while crediting consumer outcry for SoundExchange’s new flexibility, SaveNetRadio.org is still hoping for a legislative solution to ensure the continued health of the medium.