In an eagerly awaited decision, the Copyright Royalty Board announced that it will not increase
the royalties paid by online music stores to members of the National Music Publishers Association, effectively ending Apple’s threats to shut down the iTunes store
for profitability reasons.
The group also rejected a call to cut the rate to 4.8 cents and in the end agreed to freeze it at 9.1 cents a song for the next five years. While the NMPA was behind demands for a rise, it still hailed the five-year rate freeze as a positive development for all songwriters and music publishers, saying it should “bring clarity and order to an environment that for the past decade has been hampered by litigation and uncertainty on all sides.”
The iTunes shutdown was unlikely and almost certainly a bluff, but it's good to know we won't have to worry about music downloads getting any more expensive anytime soon.