Treaty reached on two fronts of music's battle royalty

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The publishers, record labels and digital music providers have hammered out a settlement on two of the five royalty rates scheduled to be set in October by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board, National Music Publishers' Assn. president and CEO David Israelite said.

But the details will remain confidential until they are presented to the three U.S. judges sitting on the board, who must approve and set the rates, he said at the trade group's annual meeting Wednesday in New York.

So far, the three sectors have reached an agreement on the rates for limited downloads and Internet streaming, but they could not reach a deal on the other three rates: digital permanent downloads, physical product and ringtones.

Consequently, each sector will file briefs and documentation supporting their respective stances by July 2, with closing arguments expected to be made by July 4. The three U.S judges on the board are expected to announce the rates for the next five years in October.

In other news, Israelite said the NMPA was diligent is closely following intellectual property legislation. Among the bills he discussed are HR 5889, which impacts how "orphan works" are treated; HR 4789, the Performance Rights Act, which says that song performers should receive compensation from terrestrial broadcasts; and HR 4279, which aims to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights both at home and abroad.

Israelite said the group also has been aggressive in going after tablature and lyric Web sites. He said 62 such sites have been shut down, while others have taken down copyrighted content and one is even seeking a license so that it can continue to operate.
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