Music Creators Call On Copyright Royalty Board to ‘Modify or Reject’ Proposed Phonorecords IV Royalty Rates


The SCL joined with the Songwriters Guild of America and Music Creators North America in submitting comments to the Copyright Royalty Board regarding the determination of rates and terms for making and distributing phonorecords (Phonorecords IV).

Included was criticism regarding the lack of appropriate change from the previous Phonorecords III decision:

The “privately negotiated” settlement proposal –which provides for a microscopic, phased-in rise in streaming rates of 1.66 percent in the aggregate over a five-year period– in fact represents “growth” so far below the current, near double-digit rate of inflation that by 2027, its adoption might effectively result in a streaming royalty rate in adjusted dollars that falls below the rates in effect prior to the 2018-2022 Phonorecord III adjustment. 

In a long-term series of proposed rulemakings, which have included calls for transparency by independent music creators, a lack of concessions by music publishers have been noted:

The Independent Music Creator community hoped but did not expect to be consulted on its views, and so were not surprised by being excluded from offering input (along with most other independent groups and industry segments who were likewise ignored). What did come as an enormous surprise, however, was an announcement by the negotiating parties on August 31, 2022, that a settlement agreement had been reached that would raise streaming rates over the next five years by just 1.66 percent in the aggregate, from 15.1 percent of streaming revenues in 2023 to 15.35 percent of revenues by 2027, far less than the 20 percent of revenues that NMPA and NSAI had previously maintained was a minimum target rate for fairness and reasonability exactly six months earlier.

Read the comments, in full, below: