There’s been a lot of talk about the agreements reached by SoundExchange, Inc. with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) that provide substitute royalty rates and playlist reporting requirements for eligible webcasters who elect to participate in these deals.
The most common refrains we hear are: "What does this mean for me?” and, from the more practical-minded, “What do I have to do?" These are by no means dumb questions, since the new agreements – and especially the SoundExchange/NAB deal – create multiple subcategories of webcasters, each with slightly different benefits and responsibilities.
No worries. We here in the CommLawBlog bunker are prepared to walk you through the process, step-by-step. Literally.
We have prepared a series of interlinked informational slides to guide you along the path. By clicking on the links that apply to your own situation, you can wend your way through the Webcast Royalty Maze. (Don’t worry about making a mistake: you can go back at any time if you think you’ve answered a question wrong or if you think that you’d like to take advantage of some other available option.)
NOTE: This was created prior to the execution of settlement agreements in August 2009 that cover noncommercial webcasters and noncommercial educational webcasters. If you are a noncommercial webcaster who might be eligible for one of these agreements, please look for an updated version of this step-by-step guide or contact us for more information.
So, let’s begin with an easy one: If you are engaged in the non-interactive public performance of sound recordings by means of a digital audio transmission, click here.
If you are not engaged in the non-interactive public performance of sound recordings by means of a digital audio transmission, then the statutory license for webcasting does not even apply to you.