Up until now, small Internet broadcasters have paid royalties based upon revenue. However, the new rates call for a per-song payment retroactive to last year. Under the new rates, Internet broadcasters will have to pay .08 cent for every song played last year, .11 cent this year and .19 cent in 2010.

For example, one Internet broadcaster, AccuRadio, paid $48,000 last year under the old, portion-of-revenue plan. Under the new system, AccuRadio’s bill will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $600,000.

So you can see why some people might be a bit upset over the new rates.

Clear Channel Communications isn’t pleased with the prices. The broadcasting giant, along with other commercial broadcasters, is asking the Copyright Royalty Board to reconsider parts of its ruling, saying methods used to calculate payments are faulty.

On the non-profit side, National Public Radio also filed a motion claiming the new rates would have “crippling effects” on NPR’s ability to serve the public interest.

In addition to having to pay a fee for every single song streamed, there’s the possible bookkeeping nightmare of having to keep track of those streams.

For small outfits it could mean having to hire an employee whose sole purpose in life is to itemize music streams. For large companies like Yahoo or Real Networks, the sheer size of the tracking data could be daunting.

Under a previous agreement, online companies could pay a royalty based upon the music played during a specified period, called a “tuning hour.” An analysis of tuning hour data would then be extrapolated to provide an estimate of which songs made up a broadcaster’s programming.

For broadcasters, tuning hours represent a much easier way to track royalty charges than recording every song streamed 24/7. Already, the Digital Media Association, which represents most major online companies involved with Webcasting, has asked the Copyright Royalty Board to reconsider its decision and to give tuning hours another chance.

Aside from the new pay-per-play rates, Netcasters are also ticked off over a new charge, a $500 payment per broadcasting channel. With some online broadcasters offering hundreds of channels, it’s hardly surprising this new charge is not exactly winning the record labels any friends among the Internet radio community.