A final deal between the Digital Media Association, which is representing the Web sites, and SoundExchange, which collects Royalties on behalf of the music labels and other copyright owners, isn’t expected until later this year. But “the hard stuff has been done,” says Pandora founder Tim Westergren, who has become the public face of webcasters during negotiations.
In September, Congress agreed to let the two groups hash out new terms that would replace the ones that the government-appointed Copyright Royalty Board signed off on last year. Since then, Web radio sites, led by Pandora, have bitterly complained that rates would force them out of business.
The existing deal calls for Webcasters to pay an escalating fee to copyright owners every time they play a song for a listener. …