Radio Facts: The United States Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) on Dec. 14 issued an initial determination concerning webcasting sound recording performance fees and terms for 2011-2015.

Among several determinations, the CRB adopted rates and terms jointly proposed by College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) and royalty collective SoundExchange for college and other educational stations that play music on the Internet.

The rates and terms of the settlement for educational stations maintain the current $500 minimum annual fee, below a threshold listening level, not available to non-student stations; this provides these stations a large degree of rate certainty for the next five years.

“This is especially important for smaller educational stations that need a reasonable and consistent charge so that they can maintain their small operations,” said Bill Keith, station manager for WSDP at Salem High School in Canton, Mich.

Perhaps more vital to student stations is relief provided by the adopted settlement in the amount of paperwork required to be maintained and reported to SoundExchange. Under the agreement, the student stations with the smallest audiences are eligible to pay a proxy fee in lieu of collecting, organizing and reporting to SoundExchange a large amount of data that these stations might have trouble producing.

“Without this agreement it would be so difficult to comply with the record keeping requirements that our station, and many others across the country, might have to discontinue webcasting,” said Michael Marek, who oversees the operations of student station KWSC at Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.

Acting CBI president Candy Walton of the University of South Dakota said, “The CRB's adoption of the rates and terms negotiated by CBI provides student stations with a large degree of rate certainty and much-needed options concerning the paperwork involved with webcasting.
This is a great victory for student stations and I am happy that we were able to accomplish this for not only our members, but all student stations.” She added that the agreement is beneficial to student learning because webcasting is an important component of the future of broadcasting.

CBI negotiated the settlement with SoundExchange under the leadership of station members Will Robedee of Rice University in Houston and Joel Willer of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, with the aid of pro bono counsel from Sausalito, Calif., attorney Catherine Gellis and

Constantine|Cannon attorney Mitchell Stoltz in Washington, D.C.

CBI is a nonprofit association which represents students involved in radio, television, webcasting and other related media ventures. The association ensures a commitment to education and the student pursuit of excellence through active involvement in electronic media and promotes cooperative efforts between the association and other national, regional, and state media organizations; it also facilitates the discussion of issues related to student-operated electronic media and other community-oriented programs.

More information about CBI is available at https://www.askcbi.org/. For more information, contact Robedee at 713-348-2935 or ExDir@AskCBI.org.

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