Last month, when the RIAA pushed through new webcasting royalty rates
that were clearly designed to kill off a lot of webcasters, many people said not to worry, that the whole thing was just part of a negotiation. While the Copyright Royalty Board finally noticed that people weren't too happy about the new rates and agreed to hold some hearings
, today they rejected those complaints
and said that they won't change the rates, and everyone better pay up by May 15th. Webcasters are now looking to appeal to both the Appeals Court as well as Congress -- but recognize that either move will probably take a while, and go well beyond the May 15th deadline. The end result, of course, is actually going to hurt the music industry greatly. Webcasting has always been a huge promotional driver for artists -- especially niche artists who wouldn't get any publicity any other way. The recording industry apparently still hasn't figured out that it can expand its market by letting people promote the content for it. Instead, it wants to charge for that promotion, in a short-sighted effort to charge for every use of the content, even ones that expand the market and allow the overall industry to make much more money.