The statutory license for “Non-commercial Webcasters” (like you, quite likely) is due to expire at the end of 2015. CBI has negotiated a settlement with SoundExchange that would largely keep the same rates and terms of the statutory license in place for the next five years after that (from 2016 through 2020).
For this to happen though the Copyright Royalty Board needs to approve the settlement, but in order for them to do that, the Copyright Royalty Judges need to hear from you. They need to know you think the rates and terms in the settlement – essentially the same as the rates and terms you have been used to for the past few years – are reasonable.
Without that feedback there is no guarantee that the rates and terms for the next five years will be as good. (In fact, without that feedback there’s a real possibility they will not be.)
Letting the judges know that they should adopt the settlement is simple. First, read it at http://www.loc.gov/crb/fedreg/2014/79fr65609.pdf. Then, send an email to email@example.com on behalf of your station stating that you support the settlement as being a reasonable. Send it on or before November 26, 2014.
We know that you are all busy and that sending a comment just sounds like more work. But your comments can and will make a difference. Comments from student-operated stations were crucial to the successful adoption of the previous settlement as the statutory rates and terms currently in place. If you want the status quo to remain in place then it is crucial you take a moment to do this.
The deadline for comments is November 26, 2014.
Comments can be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At minimum, your letter of support should include:
Your name and address.
Your station and institutional affiliation (call letters and/or station name, school, etc.).
– An express statement that you believe the terms of the agreement negotiated by College Broadcasters, Inc. and SoundExchange and published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2014, represents your station’s interests and if you wish, why you hold that belief.
That you believe the agreement provides a reasonable basis for setting statutory terms and rates.
Please see the CRJ notice at the Web address above for additional information. You may ask CBI if you have any questions.
If you want to see what the comments looked like the last time, please see http://www.loc.gov/crb/proceedings/2009-1/index.html and look at the portion of the page called settlement comments.