Webcasters write for life

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The Librarian of Congress last month set a final rate for streaming
copyrighted works on the Internet, and Webcasters said the rate is far too high
to allow them to stay in business.

They also said the process was unfair from the beginning because of the high
cost of hiring an attorney to represent them in the proceedings.

"The rules governing the arbitration process that
arrived at these rates required that participants pay a share of the
arbitrators' fees, which exceeded $1,000,000," wrote Webcasters such as Beethoven.com, Boomer Radio, bumpNgrind Records & Radio and TwangCast to lawmakers.

"Small Webcasters simply could not afford those fees, much less the cost of
the attorneys necessary to try a case that went on for almost six months," they added.

As quickly as possible, the group wants Congress to stay the Librarian of
Congress' decision and to restructure the process that uses copyright
arbitration panels to come to decisions on royalty fees.

"Having private interests set public policy in a forum that excludes the
majority of those affected is not in the public interest," the Webcasters
wrote.

The U.S. Copyright Office Monday posted the Librarian of Congress'
decision on the Web site in its entirety. It can be read at http://www.copyright.gov/carp/webcast_regs.html
.

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