SoundExchange Files Web IV Rebuttal

SoundExchange Files Web IV Rebuttal

Seeking Fair Rates for Artists and Labels from Digital Radio

SoundExchange filed its written rebuttal testimony for the Copyright Royalty Board’s (CRB) Webcasting IV case, which will set royalty rates and terms for webcasters using the statutory license for 2016-2020. SoundExchange’s summary rebuttal statements can be found here.

“SoundExchange’s position remains clear: musicians and rights owners deserve to be compensated for their work, creativity and investment in music. Digital music services would not have a business if it wasn’t for the hard work and investment of these talented artists and labels,” said Michael Huppe, president and chief executive officer, SoundExchange. “As always, our case is based on the premise that artists and rights owners should receive fair market value for their music – music that is the foundation of webcasters’ business.”

SoundExchange’s rebuttal testimony focused on the following themes:

  • Music is the foundation of the webcasting industry and the artists and labels who make that music deserve to be treated fairly. Digital music services shouldn’t  expect artists and copyright owners to subsidize their business, this is not the standard that Congress has set. Artists and rights owners must be compensated, fairly, for the use of their works.
  • Webcasting does not simply whet the listener’s appetite for music; it serves the meal. Just like interactive services, webcasters are a core part of how listeners consume music today. Today’s webcasting services are robust platforms for discovery and listening – that is why they have been so successful, and their growth so dramatic, and is also precisely why artists and rights owners deserve to participate in their success.
  • Artists and labels invest hundreds of millions of dollars and countless hours developing the music that people crave. That is an investment and a risk the services do not have to take. The services do not have to put the creative energy, passion, risk and investment into creating the recordings that their very businesses depend on.
  • Our case is deep, robust, and based on a vast array of evidence. SoundExchange’s case is based on hundreds of actual marketplace agreements between a wide range of services and record labels, all participating in the access economy. Our witnesses in the Webcasting IV proceeding include experts from the tops of their fields as well as fact witnesses from each of the major labels, independent labels, artists, managers, and others, all of whom, together, paint a picture of how the digital music marketplace actually works.