On Thursday, an appeals court denied a stay of the new (and significantly increased) royalty rates webcasters would have to pay to stream music online. However, as pointed out in the comments on that post, a Wired blog reports that SoundExchange says it's won't enforce the new rates as discussions/negotiations with webcasters continue. The founder of streaming service Pandora says that this development came about as a direct result of Congressional lobbying by webcasters and their listeners -- and hopefully those efforts will lead Congress to take a look at the proposed legislation that would establish much more realistic royalty rates. However, this shouldn't be seen as a victory for webcasters. It's not clear if the SoundExchange reprieve applies to webcasters that aren't part of the Copyright Royalty Board hearings, or what will happen if negotiations don't produce an acceptable outcome for SoundExchange and its RIAA friends -- a demand for retroactive payments would seem the most likely outcome. In any case, internet radio won't die Sunday night; hopefully the reprieve will give a reasonable solution a chance to surface.
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