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"It is apparent to us, as it was to the Panel, that webcasters and broadcasters of every size will be able to afford these rates and build businesses on the Internet."
—--Hilary Rosen
CARP RATES: A SHARP PAIN
IN THE APPENDIX
"Appendix A" of Recommendation Sets License Fees—Don't Ask Us What the Hell It Means
The Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP) has spoken regarding statutory license rates for Internet radio.

No, we said "statutory rates," you perverts.

According to Appendix A of the sexily titled "Summary of Royalty Rates for Section 114(f)(2) and 112(e) Statutory Licenses," the per-Performance Fee for webcasters and commercial broadcasters is .07 cents for simulcasts of offline broadcasts and .14 cents for "all other Internet transmissions."

The Ephemeral License fee is set at 9% of Performance Fees due, across the board, for all broadcasters. The minimum fee is $500 per license.

Non-commercial broadcasters will be charged .02 cents for simulcast and .05 cents for other transmissions, "including up to two side channels of programming consistent with the public broadcasting mission of the station." For any other side channels, non-commercial outlets will be assessed a .14-cent fee.

"Business Establishment Services" transmitting digital broadcasts of sound recordings are declared "statutorily exempt" from the Performance Fee but must pay 10% of Gross proceeds for the Ephemeral.

RIAA President/CEO Hilary Rosen wasted no time in issuing a statement. "Artists and labels, who have supported these new businesses from the start with their music are one step closer to getting paid," she declared.

"We would have preferred a higher rate," Rosen added. "But in setting a rate that is about 10 times that proposed by the webcasters, the panel clearly concluded that the webcasters' proposal was unreasonably low and not credible.

"It is apparent to us, as it was to the Panel, that webcasters and broadcasters of every size will be able to afford these rates and build businesses on the Internet," Rosen concluded.

Many in the online space have already expressed a profoundly different viewpoint, predicting that smaller webcasters would not only be driven out of business but potentially crippled by retroactive fees, which will be assessed once the rates are made final.

Only the Appendix with rates has been made public, but most of the report—minus any material deemed confidential to the affected parties—is slated to be made public on 2/25, following a review period. Appendix B, scheduled for imminent release, outlines the CARP's recommended terms to govern the license.

As mentioned in our story of 2/19, the Librarian of Congress will have a short period to review and possibly amend the panel's recommendation.

Rumors that the Librarian will then throw off her glasses, unclip her severe hairdo—letting her long, lush tresses fly about in slow motion—and unbutton her blouse could not be confirmed.

Will we see another round of litigation over the latest chapter in the contentious history of online music? Stay tuned for all kinds of commentary, prediction and just plain harumphing.

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