Current copyright royalty formulas rest on a legal framework that dates back to the early part of last century, and “the time is ripe to question the existing paradigm,” U.S. Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante said in a 245-page February report on “Copyright and the Music Marketplace.”
The copyright board’s proceeding covers the bulk of payments to recording artists and labels made by Pandora and other digital music providers. By December, the board will decide Internet radio royalty rates through 2020.
Traditional AM and FM radio stations — such as KXMZ — are exempt from these royalties.
“There’s a lot of work to be done to create a fair, efficient and sensible licensing environment across radio platforms,” said Casey Rae, chief executive of the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington-based artists’ advocacy group.
“What we want is a universe where fans can access music at reasonable rates” and artists “have an opportunity to be not only played, but paid,” Rae said.