Want to set up your own radio station playing the music of the 80's..for example?  Got $25,000 a year set aside?  Large webcasters made a deal with Sound Exchange, the collection arm of the RIAA yesterday that will offset the formerly outrageous rates set by a Copyright Arbitration Board that basically followed the RIAA guidelines.  After outrage by large webcasters like Pandora, some Senators and Congressmen put pressure on the large record companies to come up with a better rate.  The result was an agreement signed this afternoon that takes at least 25% of the revenue of "pureplay" (they play almost all music)...Small "pureplay" webcasters get a lower rate..as low as 12%..but here's the kicker...minimum payment for all webcasters..big or small is $25,000 per year.  So, if you didn't make a dime you still have to pay the $25,000 fee. 

There are ways to pay less...such as signing up with a service like live365...but even then you'll be paying in the neighborhood of a minimum $4,000 a year whether or not you have anybody listening.

You don't have to take the new deal...you can opt for the old CAB rules...paying .0018 per song per listener...doesn't sound like much...but the expense of having a software tracking service to maintain "four years" of every detail has to be figured in as well.

To read all the details of this story go to Kurt Hanson's RAIN...He was one of the negotiators on this deal with his "Accuradio."
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