US copyright board freezes download royalty rate
The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) had called for the rate increased from 9.1 cents to 15 cents per song.
The Digital Media Association (DIMA, which represents online content vendors including Apple) wanted either a reduction to 4.8 cents or a royalty of 6 percent of applicable revenues.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sought the replacement of the per-track method with a royalty of 8 percent of wholesale revenue.
The Board ruled that the royalty rate for physical products (eg, CDs) should remain at 9.1 cents per song, and that the rate for digitally distributed songs purchased outright should be the same, formalising the current practice.
This should satisfy Apple, which had previously threatened to close the iTunes Store if royalty rates were increased.
It's also good news for consumers in that any increase in royalties would presumably have translated into higher prices.
But there's more to the ruling than CD and iTunes Store style downloads - see page two.
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.