RIAA: Record cos. want 15%

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Record companies should receive 15 percent of the revenue earned by
Webcasters who stream copyrighted recordings over the Internet, the Recording
Industry Association of America argued before a panel of judges Monday.

Webcasters and radio broadcasters who stream their signal on the Web said
they should be required to pay far less, particularly because they already pay
copyright fees to music publishers.

Both sides pointed to the law that establishes that the standard should be
set by what a 'willing seller and willing buyer' would negotiate in a fair
market. But the two sides conflict because the price recording companies want
for their licenses is far above what start-up Webcasters and radio stations want
to pay.

Monday's proceeding, held by the Library of Congress' Copyright Office,
consisted of opening statements in arguments that will extend for six weeks and
will include some 40 witnesses.

Tuesday's testimony will focus on RIAA president Hillary Rosen and senior
executive vice president Cary Sherman, both of whom will be cross-examined by
the opposing side.

The three-judge panel is expected to return a decision by the end of January,
which will then be reviewed by the Copyright Office and the Librarian of
Congress and finalized by the end of March or April, depending on the
outcome.

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