WASHINGTON, June 20 (Reuters) - The U.S. Copyright Officeon Thursday cut in half the proposed per-song rate Internetbroadcasters must pay musicians and recording companies for theuse of their material.
Capping a contentious process that lasted nearly a year,the Copyright Office said "Webcasters," who stream radio-stylemusic programs over the Internet, must pay 0.07 cent perlistener per song to the owners of sound recordings.
The decision cut in half a proposed rate set of 0.14 centper listener per song set by an arbitration panel in February,bringing it in line with the rate commercial radio stationsmust pay to rebroadcast their over-the-air programs online.
Webcasters had protested that the arbitration panel's ratewould force many of them out of business, while recordingcompanies and some musicians had initially sought a higherrate.