News KEXP on SoundExchange’s Webcasting Ruling
posted by May 24 at 14:05 PMon
As I said in this post, the future of many webcasters is up in the air. The Copyright Royalty Board has raised the rates to stratospheric heights, and even though SoundExchange, the non-profit collecting these fees, has agreed to charge smaller webcasters less, there are still the questions of definition (How small is small? Do large conglomerates owning many small webcasters get charged the small webcasting fee for each? What if a webcaster goes viral and suddenly expands in listenership but not revenue? Why do small webcasters get penalized just for expanding and getting good at what they do?).
KEXP issued this statement today about the SoundExchange offer, which is not extended to KEXP since it is a public radio station:
“This gesture doesn’t reduce any of the financial burden the CRB decision brings to KEXP. And it does nothing to address the non-commercial status of public radio. We’re not opposed to paying royalties. Public radio has been paying them all these years. We are, however, opposed to 30 to 50-fold increases in rates. Unless we bring about a change, this blows a frightenly large hole in our budget. And as a non-profit, public service radio station which tirelessly connects artists to their first audiences, and which directly drives record sales, this is simply very discouraging.”
I also asked Tom Mara of KEXP a couple of questions about the real impact of the rulings:
How will this ruling affect you guys, and what will you do if it doesn’t get revised?
KEXP will incur a significant financial burden from this ruling. While we’re a public service mission driven organization we’re also marketdependent. To counteract the impact of this ruling, KEXP would likely cut back on current services and delay or kill the launch of programming or online initiatives. This abruptly constrains our work. We will do whatever we can to overcome this alarming CRB ruling so that we may continue enabling as many people as possible to discover and experience the wide and deep array of music we champion.
Will you have to stop broadcasting on the internet?
No, but as mentioned above, we may need to make cuts to current services and new initiatives. KEXP expects that the additional expenses that will be incurred from this decision will reach the six-figure range in approximately one year. And this amount steeply increases year-to-year as the rate climbs steeply year-to-year.
What are you doing to get the word out about supporting the revision acts in Congress, especially as a 501(c)3 that can’t lobby or anything?
We have a page on KEXP.ORG (informing our listeners about the CRB ruling, both the Senate and House bills (Internet Radio Equality Act, H.R. 2060 and S. 1353) as well as various websites that are providing current information surrounding this important issue, including the public broadcasting advocacy site, www.tellthempublicmatters.org We’re updating this section as things develop.