International Webcasting Agreement Extended to The US

November 2004

Record Labels, Internet

IFPI has welcomed the US performance rights organisation Soundexchange as the latest signatory of its international webcasting agreement, the reciprocal licensing arrangements that allow internet webcasters to stream music programmes to consumers on the basis of a single “one-stop” licence. Also joining the network of licensing bodies this month are the producer collecting societies in Iceland (SFH) and Ireland (PPI), bringing the number of countries in the programme to 16. The webcasting agreement, which was announced in November 2003 allows webcasters to clear record producers’ rights in a multitude of countries by entering into a licence in one participating country. Previously, these rights would have had to be cleared country-by-country. Webcasting – the streaming of music programmes on the internet – is just one of the new forms of online music distribution that the music industry is now promoting as it develops new business models and revenue streams for the online environment. Webcasting is already well-established in the USA, where there are currently 1250 licensed services.
IFPI Deputy General Counsel Lauri Rechardt said: “The reciprocal Webcasting Agreement that IFPI and the record companies’ and artists’ collecting societies have put together is an important step forward in that it creates global one-stop-shops for the licensing of streaming of sound recordings over the Internet. SoundExchange joining in this reciprocal agreement is great news both for the US artists and record companies and users that want to stream music over the Internet legally”. The webcasting agreement has been developed by the recording industry, represented by IFPI, together with the national collecting societies representing producers. The webcasting agreement followed an earlier international simulcasting accord, which collecting societies in 35 countries have now joined. SoundExchange is the first performance rights organisation in the United States to collect and distribute digital audio transmission royalties to featured artists, sound recording copyright owners.
SoundExchange represents over 750 different record companies and thousands of recording artists and is seeking out more labels and artists who are owed royalties for sound recordings played on satellite or cable radio or streamed via non interactive webcast.

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