There are three main laws affecting Internet radio: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and two major decisions by the Copyright Royalty Board. These legal decisions primarily focus on copyright and royalties. The artists and the publishing companies want payment for the streaming of creative works, and Internet radio companies want to pay as little as possible to stream the music. These laws dictate the conditions under which Internet radio stations can stream music.
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Digital Millenium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act treats traditional radio stations and Internet radio stations differently. According to the act, Internet radio stations must pay performance royalties and publishing royalties. Traditional radio stations pay only publishing royalties.
Copyright Royalty Board, 2007
In 2007, the Copyright Royalty Board, a federal board made up of three copyright royalty judges, decided that Internet radio companies must pay £325 per station as a flat fee. This rate was negotiated to include a £32,500 cap per company. The fee is paid in conjunction with the per-song royalty fees.
Copyright Royalty Board, 2009
In 2009, the Copyright Royalty Board made another decision that affected Internet radio companies. It said it would charge royalty fees to the companies depending on revenue. This is the most current legal model for charging Internet radio stations.
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