It's not nearly as hotly-debated as the change to the webcasting rates, but our nation's esteemed Copyright Royalty Board has just issued a new set of license fees for satellite broadcasters -- also known as Sirius and XM. The new rates come after a year of legal wrangling -- the main point of contention was hashing out what revenue to measure to determine the license fees, and it looks like the broadcasters won on this one -- advertising and subscriptions count, but not hardware sales and data services. That said, the rates still look like they're pretty fair, all around: the six-year plan has the companies paying six percent of applicable revenues through 2008, 6.5 percent in 2009, seven percent in 2010, 7.5 percent in 2011, and eight percent in 2012. Of course, hopefully by then that pesky merger
will finally be completed, so the rates will have to be adjusted further, but it's nice to know that the tunes are going to keep coming for a while longer.