Songwriter’s Streaming Pay Increased by Copyright Royalty Board

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The US Copyright Royalty Board ruled on Saturday to increase songwriters' rates from revenues earned by streaming services, such as YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Google, and Apple. This decision is a victory for songwriters and the music publishing companies that are collecting the licensing fees on behalf of the songwriters.

As a US system that determines the terms and rates of copyright statutory licenses in the US, the CRB strengthened and simplified the manner wherein songwriters will be paid in mechanical royalties. A mechanical license requires that streaming services should pay every time an online user listens to a song on the digital platform. The court held that songwriters will now get at least a 15.1-percent share from the streaming revenues of technology companies, instead of the previous 10.5 percent. 

The National Music Publishers’ Association, a trade association for the American music publishing industry, claimed that it is by far the largest rate increase in the history of CRB, giving higher value to the songwriters who have previously complained because they have been insufficiently uncompensated by the online music streaming services. 

NMPA’s president David Israelite said, “It’s a good day for songwriters.” He said that it would be the first time that the court mandates the contribution of songwriters to online platforms.

The International Federation of Phonographic Industry, representing the interest of the recording industry worldwide, expressed that streaming services usually get the big share in the US sales in the music industry.