Webcasters, SoundExchange, record labels come to an agreement

The major record labels and SoundExchange have come to an agreement with large webcasting companies over terms concerning the rates those webcasters have to pay for streaming. According to the agreement, large webcasters like AOL, Pandora, Yahoo!, MTV and Live 365 will not have to pay more than $50,000 per service as a per-station or per-channel minimum royalty to webacast sound recordings. The deal is valid through 2010.

Large webcasters will also not be required to provide DRM-like technology to prevent ripping (or copying) of webcasters’ streams, at least for now.

Small webcasters meanwhile, were offered a carry through of the old rates until 2010, from SoundExchange. They have until Sept. 14 to come to an agreement.

UPDATE: Some small webcasters are reportedly rejecting SoundExchange’s offer – those than earn $1.2 million in annual revenue or less – a discounted rate of 10%-12% of annual revenue. Some small webcasters say that isn’t good enough.

(Updated 10:36 AM on 2007-08-24)