National Public Radio has joined the ranks of online radio broadcasters objecting to recent ruling to increase music royalty fees, reports the Associated Press.
NPR filed a notice with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals this week, stating that it would challenge the ruling by a panel of copyright judges that will sharply raise the amount of royalties that online broadcasters, including NPR stations, have to pay record companies for streaming music over the Internet. NPR said the ruling would force smaller operators out of business.
The new royalty rates go into effect July 15. NPR and other webcasters are asking for an emergency stay to block the new rates from taking effect.
NPR spokeswoman Andi Sporkin called the decision by the Copyright Royalty Board on May 1 "ill-conceived" and said it would cause "irreparable harm" to member stations by forcing
them to cut back on streaming music online.
Other big players in the music industry such as, Yahoo, AOL and RealNetworks are expected to weigh in arguing for the stay.
Meanwhile, a bill called the Internet Radio Equality Act, is gaining momentum in Congress. This proposal will block new royalties and implement a different payment system, says Kurt Hanson, who operates a small online radio company called AccuRadio.