COMMENTARY FROM FROM GUEST BLOGGER ATTORNEY BENNETT LINOCFF -
Consumers and webcasters are outraged at the license fees that the Copyright Royalty Board (the CRB) has determined will be charged under the webcasting statutory license in the United States. Everyone except spokespeople for the record labels expect that these fees will drive nearly all independent webcasters out of business.
But inhibiting the growth of webcasting was the goal from the outset, with passage of the anti-webcasting provisions of the DMCA. The impossibly burdensome music use reporting requirements and now these grossly unreasonably statutory license fees are part and parcel of the over all effort to put an end to webcasting....
...The music industry's concern about webcasting has nothing to do with license fees. Rather, the industry fears that webcasting allows consumers to make unauthorized digital copies of recordings as they are being streamed. In other words, the music industry is concerned that webcasting threatens the label's traditional sales based revenue model; and because the industry has no alternative business model in mind, it must seek to suppress the growth of webcasting to the greatest extent possible.
What's really needed is an alternative to this sales based revenue model; one under which Internet radio can flourish without restriction. (more here)