Recording

Copyright Office Halves 'Webcasting' Rates

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. Copyright Office on Thursday cut in half the proposed per-song rate Internet broadcasters must pay musicians and recording 6/20/2002 8:00 AM Eastern

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. Copyright Office on Thursday cut in half the proposed per-song rate Internet broadcasters must pay musicians and recording companies for the use of their material.

Capping a contentious process that lasted nearly a year, the Copyright Office said, "'Webcasters,' who stream radio-style music programs over the Internet, must pay 0.07 cent per listener per song to the owners of sound recordings."

The decision cut in half a proposed rate set of 0.14 cent per listener per song set by an arbitration panel in February, bringing it in-line with the rate commercial radio stations must pay to rebroadcast their over-the-air programs online.

Webcasters had protested that the arbitration panel's rate would force many of them out of business, while recording companies and some musicians had initially sought a higher rate.