Anxious Times for Net Radio
by JASON FRY
The Wall Street Journal | Real Time, publication date: 12 March 2007
"Net-radio fans are angry, but they shouldn't be too hasty in blasting the Copyright Royalty Board. The real problem is a pair of misguided decisions made by Congress in the 1990s.
Tim Hanrahan and I wrote about this issue nearly five years ago, and it's depressing to see how little has changed. A brief recap: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, building on 1995's Digital Performance Rights in Sounds Recordings Act, said Net-radio firms had to pay performance royalties on songs played in addition to composer royalties on those songs. Terrestrial radio stations pay composer royalties, but they don't pay performance royalties, under the long-established rationale that record labels benefit from the promotional value of songs played on the radio."