The National Federation of Community Broadcasters -- which represents small,
noncommercial radio stations -- has asked the Copyright Office to exempt its
members from record-keeping requirements associated with the new license fees for
streaming digital-audio broadcasts.
More than one-third of NFCB members are not covered by a blanket license between
the Recording Industry Association of America and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that the NFCB said exempts stations with fewer than 10 employees from
the record-keeping requirements, allows for once-a-year sampling of the stations
that do have to report and allows for submitting hard-copy reports rather than
the electronic filings required of larger stations. The NFCB wants similar treatment
for its members.
"Small community stations are often the only broadcasters that air and stream
much of the independent music that is not heard on commercial stations," the NFCB said in comments filed Monday. "If these broadcasters are not able to comply
with the record-keeping requirements and have to discontinue streaming, not only
will the listening public lose access to this music, but also, independent labels
will be deprived of an important outlet for their music."