NAB appeals Webcasting royalty mandate

As promised, the National Association of Broadcasters has appealed a federal
district court's ruling requiring radio stations to pay royalties on music
streamed over the Internet.

NAB told the federal appeals court in Philadelphia that Internet programming
that duplicates a station's primary analog signal is exempt from royalties just
as over-the-air digital signals are exempt.

The district court for Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled last year that
exemption does not apply to Internet streaming.

Broadcasters say the obligation, not to mention actual royalty rates set by
the Library of Congress last month, have dealt a death blow to the infant
streaming business.

Librarian of Congress James Billington ruled on June 20 that commercial
broadcasters must pay 0.07 cents per listener per song. Noncommercial
broadcasters must pay 0.02 cents, though public radio stations affiliated with
Corporation for Public Broadcasting have a separate, private deal with the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which represents the record

Both commercial and nonaffiliated noncommercial broadcasters say the RIAA
fees the Library of Congress would impose, on recommendation of a Copyright
Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), are far too high.