Recently, the Copyright Royalty Board voted to adjust rates for online broadcasters of streaming radio. The new rate would be equivalent to 7.5% of yearly revenues for a station. This fee will be retroactive to January 1, 2006, and will come into effect on July 15th this year. On this day, thousands of web stations will be required to pay huge sums of money for these retroactive fees, and many won’t be able to afford it and will shut down.
HR 2060 has been introduced in the House with bipartisan support, by Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Don Manzullo (R-IL). A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KA).
These bills would adjust the standards by which rates are decided, correct the retroactive licensing fees, and add a seperate set of royalty rules for non-commercial radio such as NPR.