Webcasters vs. CRB: Chapter 2

Clear Channel and NPR have asked the Copyright Royalty Board to reconsider its decision to impose higher fees on Webcasters playing music. Now, it looks like the board might reconsider its decision.
Olga Kharif

Yesterday, a bunch of Webcasters, including big names like Clear Channel and NPR, had asked the Copyright Royalty Board to reconsider its decision to increase royalty fees Web stations have to pay for playing music. NPR also said it plans to appeal the decision through courts. And today, CRB said it will actually review objections to the decision on April 2.

Funny thing is, it seems like everyone, including SoundExchange -- the music industry representative that lobbied for the higher Webcaster royalty fees -- is unhappy with the decision. Lots of companies have already filed a motion for the CRB to reconsider its ruling.

Until now, most people supposed that the CRB would not reconsider a decision it labored on for more than a year at all. Well, think again. Broadcasters are powerful, and I bet the CRB is feeling some political pressure. It's hard for me to imagine, though, that the board would reverse its judgement at the end. It might clarify it, in my view, or amend it slightly, but not change it significantly. After all, this is a decision it spent a year arriving at.

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