Recording Industry to Webcasters: Don't Get Too Excited
The copyright negotiations between Webcasters and the recording industry may continue under a bill approved by Congress over the weekend.
But the trouble for Webcasters may be far from over.
While Webcasters responded to the extension from Congress with renewed hopes for a settlement, today, recording industry officials expressed a "note of caution" regarding negotiations.
"We are hopeful, but we've been close at other times during the past 18 months," John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange, which represents recording labels and artists, said in a statement.
Internet radio outfits say the current performance royalty fees they must pay to play a song will put them out of business. Those rates were doubled by the Copyright Royalty Board last year.
Webcasters hope that SoundExchange will lower the rates and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), who is considered to be sympathetic to the labels, is trying to broker a deal between the two sides.
"Certainly, Congressman Howard Berman's role as facilitator has helped tremendously in moving the ball forward," Simson said. "My hope is that we can quickly get back to the table and capitalize on the momentum."
The talks are expected to continue once President Bush signs the legislation that extends the negotiations.
Tim Westergren, founder of pandora.com, one of the largest Webcasters, said he is "definitely optimistic" about the possibilities for a resolution.
October 1, 2008; 12:11 PM ET
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