CPB Media Room

Agreement Reached for Public Radio's Webcasting Royalty Rates

  • January 15, 2009

SoundExchange and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Set New Terms for Rates and Reporting through 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- SoundExchange (SX) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) announced today a comprehensive agreement on Internet performance royalties for non-commercial educational public radio entities to be paid to sound recording artists and copyright owners.

The agreement establishes the amount of royalties that will be paid by CPB on behalf of the public radio system for streaming sound recordings on a variety of public radio websites during the period January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2010. The agreement was reached under the authority of the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008 (H.R. 7080) and will cover approximately 450 public radio webcasters including CPB supported stations, NPR, NPR members, National Federation of Community Broadcasters members, American Public Media, the Public Radio Exchange, and Public Radio International.

Under the agreement, public radio webcasters will be entitled to alternative statutory royalties from those established by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) in May, 2007. SoundExchange is to receive a single up-front royalty payment of $1.85 million together with consolidated usage and playlist reporting from CPB on behalf of the entire public radio system. NPR has also agreed, as a condition of the agreement, to withdraw its appeal of the May 2007 CRB royalty rate decision.

Both parties praise the agreement for reinforcing the value of artists' performances, while recognizing the unique mission of public radio. "We are extremely pleased by this agreement with CPB, and public radio stations. Public radio broadens the landscape of music available to music fans and SoundExchange's 35,000 artists and 4,000 plus labels look forward to our continued partnership with public radio," said John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange.

"This important agreement will ensure that the artists heard on public radio station websites will receive compensation and will enable public radio webcasters to continue to meet their public service, non-profit missions," said Pat Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. "Thank you to our public radio negotiating partners, NPR and the Station Resource Group, for the invaluable contributions they have made during these negotiations."

Consolidated reporting from CPB will improve the efficiency of the payment process helping to ensure that performers and sound recording copyright owners are accurately paid for the use of their recordings.

About SoundExchange

SoundExchange is an independent, nonprofit performance rights organization designated by the U.S. Copyright Office to collect and distribute digital performance royalties for recording artists and sound recording copyright owners when their sound recordings are performed on Internet radio and satellite radio, as well as other services. SoundExchange currently represents more than 4,000 record labels and more than 35,000 artists. SoundExchange members include both signed and unsigned recording artists; small, medium and large independent record companies; and major label groups and artist-owned labels. (www.soundexchange.com)

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

About CPB

CPB promotes the growth and development of public media in communities throughout America.

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