The Internet radio industry lost its bid to halt steep increases in royalty fees approved earlier this year by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), as the DC Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the webcasters’ request for stay of the CRB order that went into effect on Sunday. Last March, the CRB approved a new royalty rate schedule for webcasters—retroactive to January 2006—under which the established rate of 0.762-cents per song would more than double by the year 2010. The order sparked widespread protest among Internet radio broadcasters who charged that many small webcasters would be driven out of business, as they would be liable for royalty payments that exceed their earnings. Large webcasters with hundreds or even thousands of Internet radio channels, such as Yahoo and America Online, have also taken issue with CRB provisions establishing an administrative fee of $500 for every channel streamed. Although the new CRB rate schedule is now in force as a result of the DC Circuit ruling, the court is continuing to review an appeal of the March CRB order filed by the webcasting industry. Legislation is also pending on Capitol Hill that would repeal the CRB order, although observers say it could be months before that measure comes up for a vote. Meanwhile, negotiations on a compromise royalty payment system are continuing between the Internet radio industry and SoundExchange, an arm of the Recording Industry Association of America that is responsible for collecting royalty payments on behalf of artists and record companies. SoundExchange, which has said it will not enforce payment of the higher rates pending the completion of discussions, is reportedly close to an agreement with the Digital Media Association (DMA), a representative of the Internet radio industry, on a $50,000 annual cap on per-channel administrative fees. Commenting on the week’s developments, DMA executive director Jonathan Potter said, “we’re hopeful that Congress will take steps to ensure that Internet radio is not silenced, and that webcasters and SoundExchange will find a way to compromise and maintain the diversity and opportunity of Internet radio.”