CPB extends SoundExchange agreement, PRX included

Good news in the often contentious area of webcasting royalties – at least as far as public radio is considered. CPB and SoundExchange have reached agreement that extends the recently-announced two-year deal to a multi-year arrangement through 2015.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – SoundExchange, the non-profit performance rights organization, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) are proud to announce an agreement to govern royalty rates for webcasting through 2015. The agreement would allow CPB qualified stations, NPR member stations and NFCB participant member stations (along with NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International and the Public Radio Exchange) to pay an alternate rate of royalties to artists and copyright owners whose recordings they stream over the Internet.

We’re grateful to CPB, the Station Resource Group, and others from public radio who helped work through the negotiations. As an open web-based distribution service for public radio PRX with tens of thousands of audio works often containing music, PRX is one of the more interesting examples of “webcasting” and we’re very sensitive to the need to balance the interests of rights holders, users, and new intermediaries like ourselves. With this agreement in hand for a solid span of the next 6 years we can start to plan some more innovative services using the PRX platform and our growing catalog of music-based and spoken word works.

Who says public radio doesn’t pay?

David Green of Third Grade Audio recently wrote to share news of windfall profits this quarter. Thanks to a KVMR license of “Questions for Martin Luther King, Jr.” his third grade producers found themselves in the black with earnings of $1.20. And being a fair and kind boss, David distributed the profits equally among all contributors: one nickel each.

Below, Chicago-area Third Graders from North Shore Country Day School – creators of such PRX classics as “Loose Tooth” and “Stuffed Animals 3” – pose with their profits.

We should add that David is not only kind, but fastidious. He wrote, “So, for accuracy’s sake, each of my students will get 4.3¢, or one Czech Koruna, which is worth that much at current exchange rates. Since I can’t get my hands on any Koruny, my co-teacher, Amy Kenyon, and I have each generously added 10¢ of our own to the pot, thus bringing payment for each third grader up to a nickel.” Isn’t it great when management cuts you a deal?

Agreement Reached for Public Radio’s Webcasting Royalty Rates

After a long and winding road of discussions and negotiations, public radio now has an agreement covering payments for music rights for streaming internet radio. We are grateful that PRX is included in the agreement with NPR, American Public Media and Public Radio International.  Our colleagues at the Station Resource Group played a key role alongside CPB and NPR in hammering out the deal. Thank you! (and just in time for the Public Radio Tuner to take off…)

Here is the full press release on CPB’s site.

An excerpt:

The agreement establishes the amount of royalties that will be paid by CPB on behalf of the public radio system for streaming sound recordings on a variety of public radio websites during the period January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2010. The agreement […] will cover approximately 450 public radio webcasters including CPB supported stations, NPR, NPR members, National Federation of Community Broadcasters members, American Public Media, the Public Radio Exchange, and Public Radio International.

Both parties praise the agreement for reinforcing the value of artists’ performances, while recognizing the unique mission of public radio.