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Webcasters vs. CRB: Chapter 2

Posted by: Olga Kharif on March 20, 2007

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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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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