The federal Copyright Royalty Board on Thursday left the royalty that songwriters receive on sales of CDs and digital downloads at 9.1 cents per song for the next five years.
Both songwriters and music sellers applauded the ruling — but for different reasons. Apple Inc., which had threatened to shutter its iTunes store if the rate increased, appeared to have scored a clear win.
“We’re pleased with the CRB’s decision to keep royalty rates stable,” Tom Neumayr, an Apple Inc. spokesman.
The Recording Industry Association of America, representing record labels, was pleased that the rate was frozen for the first time since 1977, meaning that if song prices increase, royalties will make up a falling percentage of the companies’ costs.
“No party got everything it wanted, yet at the end of the day, the certainty provided by this ruling is beneficial,” said Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the RIAA.