Copyright Royalty Board Approves Rate Increase for Songwriters and Music Publishers – EDM.com
The Copyright Royalty Board in the United States approved a royalty rate of 15.1% for the years 2018-2022, down from 11.4%.
These royalties are paid to songwriters and publishers by streaming services like Spotify. The news precipitated an appeal from four major streaming service providers: Apple, Amazon, Pandora and Google, who argued in a joint statement that the decision “raises serious procedural and substantive issues”, according to Variety.
Last month, streaming services asked the Copyright Office for more time to pay the increased royalty rate. They argued that since streaming royalties are split 75/25 between record labels and music publishers, the increase in rates should come from record companies.
Streaming services did not come away empty-handed. The total content cost or TCC rate has been capped, depending on Varietyand the definition of grouping (family plans and other plans) reverted to an older version.
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“Today the court reaffirmed the overall rate increase we achieved four long years ago, confirming that songwriters need and deserve a significant increase in digital streaming services that profit from their work” , said David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA). Told Variety. “We will fight to increase the TCC, or percentage of label revenue, which is equivalent to an insurance policy for songwriters, in the upcoming CRB and we will also fight for stricter conditions regarding bundles.”
The NMPA would argue for an overall rate of 20% for the period from 2023 to 2027.
The debacle surrounding increases in royalty rates is not over yet. The legal battle over 2023-2027 tariffs is just beginning, and the Copyright Board is expected to reveal its initial decision after Labor Day.