Copyright Royalty Board Makes Few Rate Changes

There was no real game changer on Thursday as the US Copyright Royalty Board ruled that for the next five years:

  • Mechanical download rates would remain at 9.1 cents per track
  • Ringtone rates were set at 24 cents. This mirrors the industry practice 10% of revenue on a $2.50 ringtone and was actually higher than the 15 cents per song requested by publishers
  • Following a joint industry agreement, services that stream music on the net will pay 10.5% of revenue minus the 5% paid in performance royalties retroactive to 2001.

    Industry reaction:

  • "We're pleased with the CRB's decision to keep royalty rates stable-".- Tom Neumayr, an Apple Inc. spokesman.
  • "No party got everything it wanted, yet at the end of the day, the certainty provided by this ruling is beneficial." – Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the RIAA
  • "This is a vitally important ruling that properly recognizes the intrinsic value of songs, and which ensures that songwriters will be appropriately compensated for their creative works. With today's decision, and the agreement on interactive streaming and limited downloads announced last week, we now have a rates structure that will provide a solid platform from which the music marketplace can grow. That has to be a good thing for fans, songwriters and all those involved in the music business.” – Roger Faxon, CEO EMI Music Publishing
  • “During this challenging time for the music industry and digital stores and services, we are pleased with the CRB’s decision to keep royalty rates stable for the next five years. Keeping rates where they are will help digital services and retailers continue to innovate and grow for the next several years, which will benefit songwriters, artists, labels and publishers.” – Jonathan Potter, Executive Director of the Digital Media Association, the trade group whose members include iTunes, Amazon.com, Best Buy and other online music stores.
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