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Radio News (more headlines) 05-17-2009

SoundExchange Statement Regarding Seeking An Extension Of The Webcaster Settlement Act To Facilitate Webcaster Negotiations

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In order to facilitate further negotiations on webcasting rates, representatives of SoundExchange have approached Members of Congress seeking an extension of the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008.

SoundExchange's action was prompted by positive developments in its discussions with several "pureplay" webcasters. While no "pureplay" agreement has yet been executed, recent discussions have advanced to the point that if an agreement is to be concluded the settlement authority provided by the Act – which expired February 15, 2009 – will need to be renewed. The webcasters seek an agreement that would both apply to all recordings and include years that extend beyond the 2011-2015 time period that is covered by the upcoming webcasting rate proceeding.

Under the Act, any potential agreement would be binding on all copyright owners and performers and would be available to other eligible "pureplay" webcasters once the agreed-upon rates and terms are published in the Federal Register.

"Pureplay" webcasters refers to those webcasters whose sole business activity is to stream sound recordings over the Internet.

While the initial impetus for seeking the extension of the Webcaster Settlement Act is a potential agreement with "pureplay" webcasters, the extension would also enable other categories of webcasters to negotiate for rates and terms that would apply beyond the 2011-2015 time period.

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