IBS Official Position:
1. There is not sufficient basis to support a flat $500.00 minimum payment for commercial and noncommercial webcasters. There should be smaller minimums for smaller uses of the statutory license. Noncommercial webcast aggregators, like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS), and Live365 can make single flat fee royalty payments covering hundreds, even thousands of individual small noncommercial public, education, and hobbyist streams, as CPB has been doing for over a decade.
2. The $500.00 minimum annual payment to SoundExchange, for 159,140 ATH per month, or a bulk minimum buy of 22,916,160 digital music performances of statutory music, is much greater than the actual use of the statutory license by very small noncommercial webcasters like IBS Members. Their actual usage of the statutory license annually based on this rate is $5 to $20 a year. There is a benefit for small, new, local artists to direct license their copyright with these noncommercial webcasters. A large annual minimum is a disincentive for the direct license. In effect a high one size fits all minimum, like $500 a year when the webcaster uses $10 per year tend s to restrain access to and trade on the Internet.
The forced minimum bulk purchase for the use, webcast, of statutory music covers roughly 218 continuous listeners 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The reality is that virtually all new high school and college webcasters operated by public owed education entities do not exceed four (4) continuous webcast listeners. Many of these listeners are not hearing statutory digital music performances, but instead are listening to school sports and talk radio. There are also other licenses for digital music streamed on the Internet by IBS Members that the IBS does NOT owe any copyright fee for. In most cases IBS Members do not extensively use the statutory license. They use direct licenses (permissions to broadcast/webcast) from artists/labels that are anxious for IBS Members to hear their music, and live local performances. Often the IBS Member owns the copyright license because the performance is from a school band or group. All music in programming provided to IBS Members from NPR, PRX, APM, and PRI, the copyright fees are prepaid by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and not owed by the IBS Member.
For all these reasons it is arbitrary and capricious (ridiculous) for IBS Members to be forced to pay a one size fits all $500.00 minimum fee. The U. S. Court of Appeals (DC Circuit) ruled that way in July 2009 when they vacated the $500 minimum fee for IBS Members. In July 2012 that same Court, U. S. Court of Appeals (DC Circuit) again vacated the $500.00 minimum fee for IBS Member Webcasters.
For four (4) listeners, roughly 4% of the 218 listeners included in the minimum $500.00 license fee the actual use of the license is about $20.00 worth per year. (4% of $500 equals $20). IBS describes this proposed rate as the webcast performance copyright annual fee for very small noncommercial webcasters.
For 21 listeners, roughly 10% of the 218 listeners included in the minimum $500.00 license fee the actual use of the license is about $50.00 worth per year. (10% of $500 equals $50). IBS describes this proposed rate as the webcast performance copyright annual fee for small noncommercial webcasters.
IBS proposed for the 2011 - 2015 (Web III) webcast rate period, that thousands, perhaps even ten thousand educational, government owned/operated (Public schools, community colleges, State Colleges/Universities) be allowed to use the Internet for webcasting is the annual rate equaled the actual annual usage, 4 - 8 continuous digital music listeners at $20 annually, not the much larger minimum bulk license purchase of $500.00. IBS offered to pay as an aggregator, like CPB is for NPR, CPB, NFCB webcasters, $10,000.00 to cover up to 500 IBS Member webcasters. The vast majority of IBS Members are entities of the 50 States. The vast majority of major music companies (Labels) are foreign controlled in Japan, Germany, France, etc. IBS, Inc. strongly feels it is time to reduce the FOREIGN MUSIC TAX on our 50 States to what is actually owed, not an arbitrary minimum fee/tax many times what is owed. NPR, CPB, NFCB webcasters pay much less than $500 per stream for far webcast listeners per stream than IBS Members have.
Note: PUBLIC Education entities may be prohibited from using the Internet/Webcasting to teach America's Sons and Daughters about digital communications by the $500.00 minimum rate, a huge minimum bulk purchase of 22,916,160 performances annually. Students should be allowed to learn/practice vital digital communication/Internet SKILL Sets required by them to survive in the Global World Economy!
3. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) receives annually from US Taxpayers, by Congressional Authorization/Appropriation over $400,000,000.00 ($400 Million Dollars). CPB pays, using Federal Taxpayer dollars the SoundExchange copyright royalty fees for all NPR and CPB Qualified, webcasters. State and local taxpayers often must pay SoundExchange webcast royalty fees. Federally funded high visibility mass audience (over 200 continuous listeners) are given preferential rates. State and Local Government funded training entities often with very low listenership (20, or even 5 or less listeners per minute), due to the minimum must pay the $500.00 minimum rate even though their pay per performance rate is less. Often the use of the statutory music license is only 4% of the federal funded NPR webcasts.
4. The US Court of Appeals after review of the CRB Record vacated the minimum ($500.00) for noncommercial webcasters as being arbitrary and capricious in its July 2009 decision and remand. The same Court again vacated the $500.00 minimum for IBS Members in July 2012.
What is IBS's position on Webcasting?
1. IBS believes there is tremendous educational and operational value for educational stations to stream their audio (and video) signal over the Internet.
2. IBS believes every IBS Member, educational radio station should be able to pay SoundExchange only for what they use of the license to stream their audio signal digitally on the Internet (Webcast)(Approximately $20 per year)!
The value of streaming for an IBS Member Radio Station is:
To learn and practice the techniques and technology of digital communications. America's Sons and Daughters must compete in a global digital world. Vital communication skills are being learned by webcasting at USA schools and colleges.
To be able to reach out to alumni, parents, friends and other audiences with information and programming that cannot be provided by other broadcasting technology.
- Constitutional FREEDOM
The right to free speech and expression of views by American Education Entities and their faculty and students is vital to a FREE United States of America. Our GREAT NATION cannot long endure if we allow uncertainty to shut down school and college webcasts due to impossible to meet record-keeping and unrealistic rates that apply to music and NON-MUSIC programming.