About the Agreements
The cooperative efforts of CPB, NPR, and SRG have resulted in the execution of an agreement with SoundExchange (SX) to perform sound recordings over the Internet. In addition CPB has negotiated a license with SESAC, Inc for public broadcasters to distribute music over the Internet.
The registration process asks you to provide information about your station and your station's Web site(s). This information is necessary so that we can create a record of all of the stations operating under the agreement.
If you do not elect to be covered by the agreement(s) at this time, you may do so in the future.
These agreements and licenses contain significant confidentiality provisions and reporting obligations. Please read and review the terms of the licenses themselves after you have registered.
- The SoundExchange license is only applicable to qualified public radio stations, APM, NPR, PRI and PRX.
- The SESAC license applies to both public television and public radio stations.
- Stations have certain record-keeping requirements with respect to these agreements.
- CPB will pay all the fees of both.
ASCAP and BMI Agreements
The ASCAP and BMI agreements each expired on December 31, 2007. CPB looks forward to negotiating with these Performing Rights Organizations. If you are asked by ASCAP and/or BMI to report, we urge you to continue to provide information consistent with the terms of those licenses.
Although the attached copies of the SX agreement and SESAC license have been redacted to protect the most confidential pricing information, please recognize that the remaining provisions are nonetheless subject to confidentiality restrictions. You may not disclose the terms of either of these licenses to any other party without the consent of CPB, SESAC or SoundExchange (as the case may be).
The SoundExchange Agreement
- The SoundExchange agreement expires on December 31, 2015.
- The SoundExchange agreement does not apply to public television stations.
The SoundExchange (SX) agreement only applies to qualified public radio stations, APM, NPR, PRI, and PRX. It permits a qualified station that accepts and complies with its terms to become a Covered Entity and to perform sound recordings over the Internet. The SX agreement is not required for Internet distribution of music that is part of an audiovisual work and the agreement does not apply to public television stations.
Stations qualified to be covered under the SX agreement are those public radio stations that meet one of the following criteria: CPB qualified, NPR members or NFCB participant members. By meeting any one of these criteria a station is qualified to be covered under the SX agreement.
Any qualified station that wishes to be covered by the SX agreement to perform sound recordings over the Internet must actually first register. It can then review the agreement and, if the station decides to use the license rights subject to the agreement, it may consent to be bound by the terms of the agreement. Once a qualified station has accepted the agreement it, becomes a Covered Entity.
The SX agreement DOES NOT authorize the downloading of sound recordings or the provision of interactive, on-demand services where the user can access the performance of a particular sound recording upon request.
The SX agreement contains affirmative reporting requirements with which Covered Entities must comply in order to benefit from the terms of the agreement. PLEASE REVIEW THESE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS CAREFULLY IN THE SX AGREEMENT. A Covered Entity that fails to comply with the applicable reporting requirements may, at CPB’s sole discretion, be removed from the list of Covered Entities. It will then be subject to the statutory rates and reporting requirements set forth by the Copyright Royalty Board.
PLEASE NOTE: As of January 1, 2011, Covered Entities must comply with the reporting requirements applicable to Web Site Performances under 37 C.F.R. Part 370 and other regulations, as well as comply with their other obligations under Sections 112 and 114 of the Copyright Act. Covered Entities should begin diligent efforts to prepare to do so in advance of January 1, 2011. A failure to comply with such reporting requirements may cause Web Site Performances on or after January 1, 2011 to infringe the copyright in any Sound Recordings performed.
The SX agreement contains certain benchmarks for reporting by the public radio system. These benchmarks should not be construed as a safe harbor for any covered entity not to report. ALL PUBLIC RADIO STATIONS THAT CHOOSE TO BE COVERED UNDER THE SX AGREEMENT HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO REPORT. If the benchmarks described in the agreement are not met, CPB has the sole discretion to select covered entities which will be considered in breach of the agreement.
(As of February 11, 2009)
The SoundExchange agreement for sound recordings has certain limitations that do not apply to public radio's broadcast licenses or to the ASCAP, BMI or SESAC Internet licenses. These limitations are set out in the federal law that created the compulsory license to distribute sound recordings over the Internet. You must comply with them. First, the Internet service cannot be distributed on a subscription basis. Second, the Internet service cannot be interactive or "on-demand". That means your service cannot allow listeners to select a particular sound recording, whether or not as part of a program. Third, you cannot publish or distribute a program schedule or list of the titles of the specific sound recordings that will be transmitted in advance. Fourth, there are limitations on the number of tracks you can play from the same CD, album or cassette ("CD"), limitations on the number of songs by the same artist, and limitations on how many songs from the same CD or artist can be transmitted consecutively. In any three (3) hour period you can transmit up to three (3) different selections of sound recordings from any one CD, but you can transmit no more than two (2) consecutively. Additionally, in any three (3) hour period you can transmit up to four (4) different selections by the same featured artist, or up to four (4) different selections of sound recordings from any set or compilation of CD's, but you can transmit no more than three (3) consecutively. Fifth, there are restrictions on the webcasting of continuous, looped programs of less than three (3) hours duration and on the number of times that a program may be repeated during a two (2) week period. You can transmit a program that is longer than one (1) hour and that includes performances of sound recordings up to four (4) times in any two (2) week period that have been publicly announced in advance. If the program is less than one (1) hour long, you can transmit the program up to three (3) times in any two (2) week period that have been publicly announced in advance.
The SESAC License
- The SESAC license for Internet Music Rights expires on December 31, 2012.
The SESAC license permits all public broadcasting stations to distribute the musical works in its repertory over the Internet. This license is applicable to both television and radio stations. The SESAC internet license is contained within the broader SESAC broadcasting license.