In a multi-year statutory proceeding, the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ruled to increase the royalty rates paid by music webcasters to musical artists and copyright owners following a Brattle analysis.

In the 2019/2020 proceeding, Determination of Rates and Terms for Digital Performance of Sound Recordings and Making of Ephemeral Copies to Facilitate those Performances (Web V), a Brattle team – led by Principal Dr. Steve Herscovici and Senior Associate Dr. Haris Tabakovic –­ supported expert testimony on behalf of copyright holders and assisted counsel for SoundExchange, a digital performance rights organization that collects and distributes sound recording royalties to artists and copyright owners.

While commercial webcasters sought to lower the royalty rates, SoundExchange argued that higher rates would be commensurate with the rapid growth of the webcasting industry in recent years and would ensure fair compensation to artists.

In its decision, the CRB agreed, increasing the royalty rates that commercial webcasters will pay during the upcoming licensing period from January 2021 through 2025. The rates represent an 8% increase for subscription-based webcasters and a 17% increase for ad-based webcasters over the rates they paid in 2020.

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