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A Reprieve for Internet Radio 108

Posted by Zonk
from the i-can-keep-getting-my-soundtrack-fix dept.
westlake writes "In the wake of Internet Radio's Day of Silence, SoundExchange has proposed a temporary $2500 cap on advance payments 'per channel/per station.' The Digital Music Association responded immediately in its own press release that it would agree to this, but only if the term for the new arrangement were extended to 2010 — or, preferably, forever. On another front, SoundExchange seems aware in its PR that it will have to concede something more to the non-profit webcaster, if it is to avoid Congressional action."
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A Reprieve for Internet Radio

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 02, 2007 @07:16AM (#19715473)
    And wasn't the contention that they were demanding these fees even from stations that exclusively "broadcast" public domain or copyleft works?

    It's the end of radio, can you hear me now?
    • by clickclickdrone (964164) on Monday July 02, 2007 @07:27AM (#19715523)
      >It's the end of radio, can you hear me now?
      Reminds me of "WXJL Tonight" by The Human League from 1980 about the last DJ on the air lamenting his fate as all the other stations have gone over to 24/7 automatic stations without any chat inbetween the songs.
      And now I'm left alone
      I haven't got a word to say
      And youre the one who makes the choice
      To turn me on or turn me off
      But now it really matters
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        > Reminds me of "WXJL Tonight" by The Human League from 1980 about the
        > last DJ on the air lamenting his fate as all the other stations have
        > gone over to 24/7 automatic stations without any chat inbetween the
        > songs.

        More or less, it's just a more contemporary and humorous riff on that idea. [scenepointblank.com] I've got the travelogue album on vinyl somewhere, I'll have to dig it out.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jaweekes (938376)
        Unfortunately that is almost here. Steve-FM [steve-fm.com] in Columbia, SC does not have a DJ, and plays "whatever we want", so no requests. The sadder part is that it's the best station in Columbia, and has risen to be No. 1 in the area because it doesn't have a DJ.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by michrech (468134)

          Unfortunately that is almost here. Steve-FM [steve-fm.com] in Columbia, SC does not have a DJ, and plays "whatever we want", so no requests. The sadder part is that it's the best station in Columbia, and has risen to be No. 1 in the area because it doesn't have a DJ.

          What would be cool (though not for DJ's) would be to combine the "music playing robot" with some AI. Set up a phone bank (obviously hooked up to a computer). Link it to your music catalog. Let people call in and "request" a song. Once a song gets x amount of votes, play it in the next rotation.

          Oh, the possibilities with such a system.

          • by jaweekes (938376)
            I'm not sure. I think one of the best things about Steve-FM is that they will play Linkin Park, then Frank Sinatra, followed by Robert Palmer; a mixture no request program is ever going to play!
            • and with good reason...
          • What would be cool (though not for DJ's) would be to combine the "music playing robot" with some AI. Set up a phone bank (obviously hooked up to a computer). Link it to your music catalog. Let people call in and "request" a song. Once a song gets x amount of votes, play it in the next rotation.

            This would not necessarily work because too many stations use a play for pay model. The label doesnt pay, it's a lot less likely your music will get played. Even with the new laws that are supposed to guarantee x number of hours for Indy labels and such, that still accounts for very little play time not corporately endorsed.

            Of course, for the Sheeple who only listen to the (one hit wonder, here today, gone tomorrow) music they are told to ("Crap 40"), I guess it may work very well...

            Never mind, good

            • by michrech (468134)
              I see nothing wrong with a lot of the music that gets made fun of here (I even listen to a lot of it). Anyway, there isn't any reason why what I mentioned wouldn't work. Simply keep track of what songs play and how often, print up a report, and if someone is "sponsoring" songs on a pay-per-play model, they can have a record that will show them all the info they need.

              In addition, there is nothing preventing the station using such technology from "inserting" songs they wish/are required to at specific or ra
              • No, No, No... You DO have a good idea... hope the tone of my post didnt make you think I thought otherwise... but why dont you add to that idea a slight variant on it? Why cant people just log into their computers and do the same? Maybe even select what times they will be listening to the station, and have the station's computer "raffle off" that time slot depending on how many people requested songs to fill it?

                -Rob

        • by casings (257363) *
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_FM [wikipedia.org]

          This has been done for a while now...
          • I think it's a trend around the country to have these radio stations that don't have an actual DJ, they just run through random playlists. The common characteristic is that they all have "average Joe" names... like Steve-FM, Jack-FM, etc. We have Doug-FM here in Detroit.

            Although it's good to play when you have people over for background noise, I still enjoy listening to the actual DJ talk about upcoming concerts involving the bands they play, different events happening aroudn town, etc. I personally list
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by beckerist (985855)
        I miss the days when radio was orchestrated by the DJ. Instead of there being "playlists" and the DJ just there for random contests and advertisements, the DJ USED to be (well...sometimes was...) a knowledgeable source of the music he was playing, because not only would he PLAY what he LIKED, he generally OWNED it all anyway.

        Now it's all automated and corporately driven, unless you find a good college station: (like www.wicb.org [wicb.org] -- listen online and rated very well nationally)

        8 years ago when I called up
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      And wasn't the contention that they were demanding these fees even from stations that exclusively "broadcast" public domain or copyleft works?

      Technically, they CAN'T LEGALLY go after the PD or copyleft stations. Sure, they can ASK for the fees from these broadcasters, but they cannot win them in court since Soundexchange wasn't specifically hired to protect these copyrights and they have no contract to do so. Attempting to get fees from PD/copyleft broadcasters would be like me sticking up a 7-11 store,

      • Technically, they CAN'T LEGALLY go after the PD or copyleft stations.

        It doesn't matter what's legal and what's not. All that matters is that they can suppress any budding website with legal threats, delays and costs. There's a trail of damage a mile wide behind these scum Death By Lawyer: 10 Cool Sites We Miss [mashable.com]

    • Utmost respect for the Shellac reference.
      That song has been running through my head throughout this whole debacle.
    • by deviceb (958415)
      pirate radio..
      nothing to see here...
    • IIRC the fees are statutory, unless you have agreement with the copyright holder. Thus you can play anything without permission of the owner, but you had to pay the SoundExchange rate. I think copyleft and public domain fall into the separate permission category. So you shouldn't have to pay anything.
  • "didn't realise" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clickclickdrone (964164) on Monday July 02, 2007 @07:23AM (#19715507)
    That phrase that they "didn't realise" these stations have thousands of channels just points to how ill researched these organisations are. They're putting in knee-jerk regulatory and charging regimes that just don't fit the real world. It's probably not even crossed their mind that half of them are trying to charge for listeners in countries that don't even fall under their jurisdiction.
    We're going through a painful growing stage that's going to be full of 'WTF?' moments but I'd be surprised if in ten years time, the music industry landscape will be drastically different with self-publishing bands, CDs a rarity (or their replacement format) and the licencing juggernaut that we have right now being relegated to history.
    The only reason I can see for the industry as it stands to exist is R&D but they do so little of that now as to be moot. If a band doesn't hit the big time on their first single/album, they're dropped, no more the nurturing of a band over several albums while they find their stride.
    The HiFi brigade will naturally be less than enthused about MP3 as a primary format but that will no doubt be replaced with some sort of lossless DRM free format by then.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by b0z0n3 (1086487)

      It's probably not even crossed their mind that half of them are trying to charge for listeners in countries that don't even fall under their jurisdiction.
      Hey, it's America - The whole universe is their jurisdiction.
    • by pointfiftyae (993509) on Monday July 02, 2007 @07:40AM (#19715573)

      The Copyright Royalty [...] apparently didn't understand that webcasters such as Pandora and Live365 offer thousands of streams.
      Yeah, I thought that too... but I think it's more of a rhetoric trick from TFA's author to make them look Even More Evil/Stupid(TM)... I mean, it's their job, I can't believe they would write regulations about something they don't even understand!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I can't believe they would write regulations about something they don't even understand!
        In the UK that's all the Labour government do - a new law every ten minutes on average too. If this is your first exposure to fools making foolish laws, be happy!
    • by ShedPlant (1041034) on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:22AM (#19715777) Homepage
      You're far too quick to predict the demise of one of the biggest, richest and toughest corporate organisations in America. It's very naive.
      • by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday July 02, 2007 @09:27AM (#19716349) Journal
        Sorry to comment on the moderation of the parent post, but I'd say that's hardly flamebait.

        ShedPlant makes a valid point, though it's not to the liking of most people here.

        The record industry is extremely wealthy and has the ear of the extremely powerful. Though it may seem obvious to us that their business model is outdated and is destined to fail, they have the political clout to make sure US legislators prop up their model for a long, long time. They also, via control (or association with those in control) of television media, continue to have the strongest marketing presence.

        It's all fine and dandy to believe that the music industry of the future is just over the horizon, but I don't think it's in the immediate future -- there is simply too much political clout and capital invested in making sure that then status quo is maintained. I think back ten years, and people were saying that by now, we'd already have witnessed the restructuring of the music industry due to technological changes. Ten years from now, I think we'll look back at today, and be saying the same thing.

        This isn't just Monday morning pessimism, the simple truth is that it will be another generation (or two!) before the people who really understand the future of media distribution are in the political power positions necessary to overcome the money being funneled into politics by the media companies. And that's if we're lucky.
        • if things keep up as they are though the music industry is only going to lose profits due to their lack of growth- they will be the victim of their own hubris. The fact is that if it is not "piracy" or itunes it will be another thing, and another added that reduces the profits of the industry because it is based on an album sale business and is spending more $ and turning off more fans every day to defend their business model which is antiquated.
      • by MojoRilla (591502)

        You're far too quick to predict the demise of one of the biggest, richest and toughest corporate organisations in America. It's very naive.

        Biggest and richest corporate organizations in America? Uh, really?

        EMI Group [emigroup.com] bills itself as the worlds largest independent music company. They had revenue last year of 2 billion pounds (approximately 4 billion dollars) with profits of approximately 250 million pounds ($500 million dollars).

        Compare that to say, Exxon Mobile [cnn.com]. In 2006, it had a profit of 39.5 bil [breitbart.com]

      • Yeah, it's like this one site I belong to (can't remember the name) where people are always predicting the Microsoft's latest flap spells the end of their corporation and a complete desktop OS replacement with Linux... Now what was the name of that site again??
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      We're going through a painful growing stage that's going to be full of 'WTF?' moments but I'd be surprised if in ten years time, the music industry landscape will be drastically different with self-publishing bands, CDs a rarity (or their replacement format) and the licencing juggernaut that we have right now being relegated to history.

      Not just self-publishing, but self-publishing and somewhat self-promoting. I mean somewhat because a new market will be created for promoters, whom will be hired directly by

    • Re:"didn't realise" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:47AM (#19715931)
      I'd hope that you're right. But I don't think the dino wants to die. It will cling to its life with all its might, and the mafiaa has a lot of (financial) muscle. As long as people buy hypecrap, this doesn't change.

      Now, internet radio is dealing a serious blow to the mafiaa. Remember that radio is maybe the most influencial medium when it comes to making some kind of music mainstream. You hear it all the time, so it's gotta be good. It ain't the other way around anymore. It used to be (ok, some 50 years or so ago), that music was good, people liked it, so radio played it to attract listeners. Today, it's reverse. Just like in every other industry. Without real competition, and everyone selling you the same crap, you have no choice but to accept the crap and choose from different equally crappy products. Thus it doesn't hurt a radio station to spew hypecrap instead of playing music.

      Internet radio sure hurts this kind of revenue stream. Quite a few internet radio "stations" are ran by people who want to play "their" music. Who have a certain liking and want this to be heard. And they sure as hell won't hype some crap song even for money. If anything, they ridicule it.

      Can you see why the mafiaa isn't really too fond of the idea of internet radio?
      • by binarybum (468664)
        "And they sure as hell won't hype some crap song even for money."

        pinko commie bastards that won't play crap for money?! That makes me sick!
        Every red-blooded lover of free trade should play crap for money, and for more money they should eat crap, and for even more money they should dance to the sound of this crap in a very sexual and stereotyped fashion!

        now if that's not phraseology worthy of a constitutional amendment, I don't know what is.

        seriously... I
    • by weber (36246)

      The HiFi brigade will naturally be less than enthused about MP3 as a primary format but that will no doubt be replaced with some sort of lossless DRM free format by then.
      Probably redundant to say in this forum but the Free Lossless Audio Codec [wikipedia.org] (FLAC [sourceforge.net]) would do nicely in this context, I think.
    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday July 02, 2007 @09:18AM (#19716253) Journal
      Simply stated, the (three, five?) judge panel setting the ruling should be sacked. It is clear that they have absolutely no business setting royalty payments, as they are entirely ignroant of the underlying industry which they are ruling on. The expert for the stations stated, in effect, this exact outcome and they either didn't understand the technology enough to realize the implications, or were so biased towards one party that they chose to ignore the information. Either way, they should be replaced with members which understand the industry and the conditions present.

      Of course, that won't happen. Incompetence and ignorance are not grounds for removing a judge, and from the prespective of the current administration they played the game very nicely.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      What I find more disturbing is that you actually believe they did it by accident. They knew 100% that these broadcasters had "1000's of stations" and knew 100% the hardship they would create. they did not sink that money into lobbying and strong arming congress to allow their scheme without knowing what they were doing.

      Never never NEVER ever trust any company that get's laws passed in their favor and then back off claiming "ignorance" they did it on purpose, if they didn't then they need to petition cong
    • by janrinok (846318)
      Your view of the future is unlikely. CDs (or their replacement format) will not disappear until everyone has access to the internet. As much of the US (and elsewhere) hasn't even got broadband yet the majority of people do not have a system for downloading large media files. They are more or less stuck with email and web browsing, or some very long download times. Now if you are predicting that the US will solve its problems within the next decade I will choose to disagree with your optimistic assessme
      • much of the US (and elsewhere) hasn't even got broadband yet

        That's a fair point and I'm looking at it from the European standpoint. Apart from my 70 something year old mum, I don't know *anyone* that isn't on broadband including people's parents and grandparents. I'm also scratching my head to think of anyone that still buys CDs too. I buy the odd one still but then I also buy new vinyl because I'm a collector. Everyone else I know either buys or aquires MP3s as their only source of music now.
        Someone else noted how powerful and rich the record companies are. In th

        • My mother doesn't have broadband (in the UK). It's only become available where she lives (20 minutes outside the nearest city, in a small cluster of villages) in the last year or so, but she hasn't switched because she only uses the Internet for email and the occasional bit of research or shopping. She and my step father have, between them, about 500 music CDs, and purchase new ones fairly regularly.
        • by janrinok (846318)
          We are indeed fortunate in Europe, Asia and one or two other countries but it seems to me that elsewhere business interests are holding up broadband expansion. I have stopped buying any significant number of CDs but I haven't been replacing them by downloads despite my 8Mb download speed with no capping for the equivalent of $25/month. It seems to me that there is less music that appeals to me than there was, say, a decade ago - however, that might simply be a factor of my age, and my tastes changing!
  • Whatever they decide on, it will have to happen soon, because the new rates go into effect in 16 days. It'd be a shame to see Pandora, Live365, and other multi-stream webcasters eliminated.

    I love Live365, It would be a same to see them go under. They have an amazing selection of music and for 3.65 a month it is a great bargain.

    • by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Monday July 02, 2007 @07:30AM (#19715535) Homepage
      This post paid in full by Live365
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ClaraBow (212734)
        Okay, fair enough, it sounds like an advert, but I was just trying to say that sites like Live365 offer great a variety of radio stations, and they are invaluable for people who like to explore different kinds of music in a legal and inexpensive manner. But I concede to the fact that I sounded like a front person for Live365, but I'm jut a fan.
        • I fully agree. For me, it is Salsa music. And I found a station there that plays mostly new, unknown stuff and only a few classics. FM latin stations play too much Raeggeton and current Latin Top-10s for my taste.
      • by merc_sa (35777)

        *chuckle* I actually do work for Live365. And no, doesn't sound like an employee post
        (I'm probably one of the few that actually reads slashdot). I wish we did have the resources
        to try to shill the usual net outlets, then I can try to commandeer that effort for
        something else ;)

        We're a lot smaller than most folks would imagine. one of the common complaints around
        here is that we don't have the resources to do any promotion to drive awareness and of
        course Pandora, last.fm gets tons more press ink than we do.
  • Testing the waters? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FiniteElementalist (1073824) on Monday July 02, 2007 @07:31AM (#19715541)
    I'm curious if part of this back and forth is the recording industry trying to see how hard they can push on internet radio before they push too hard and it backfires. Effectively killing internet radio in the US seems like it would be pretty far beyond that point, as it would be hard for congress to look the other way on that. The temporary deal could then just be to ratchet down the tensions so they can find a more viable way to profit from or inhibit internet once it falls out of public awareness.

    Or it could just be that they are incompetent with dealing with internet distribution of music. That wouldn't be unprecedented.
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:48AM (#19715943) Homepage Journal
      Both. The recording industry hates the Internet precisely because it will eventually eliminate their business model. That much is obvious. I don't think it's like the recording industry wants to eliminate the Internet as a means of music distribution -- they just want to slow it down enough until they can ensure that they will continue to be a relevant part of music distribution.

      In the end, I don't think they will ... the tide's already turned against them. But watching the show of them going down is going to be spectacular.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by beyondkaoru (1008447)

        they just want to slow it down enough until they can ensure that they will continue to be a relevant part of music distribution.

        they (and the music industry is certainly not the only one) don't want to slow down the internet, they want to make the internet like television. perhaps inadvertently, stuff like nat has done it for them; many people don't get the ability to receive tcp connections, and to receive udp (from people you didn't first send a packet to) one often has to do weird little dances like stun. if you can't receive connections even though you want to, well, we've broken the original idea behind the internet. there's n

      • Before internet, the major labels owned the traditional distribution channels - that's where the $$$ is.

        The internet threatened that business model. With the predatory fees against the internet radio, they hope to drive them into bankruptcy and then snatch up the remains - it happened to Napster and some other websites. Then one by one they acquire the distribution channel on the internet and fund their legal war chest in the process through the fees.

        The day of silence was a preemptive move by the int

    • by Gorshkov (932507) <admgorshkov AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday July 02, 2007 @09:33AM (#19716397)

      Effectively killing internet radio in the US seems like it would be pretty far beyond that point, as it would be hard for congress to look the other way on that.
      But they won't kill internet radio in the US. They'll kill internet radio BASED in the US.

      Anybody want to rent some of my Canadian bandwidth for streaming to US customers?
      • by mattOzan (165392)

        But they won't kill internet radio in the US. They'll kill internet radio BASED in the US.

        Not true. It kills internet radio broadcasts that stream to the U.S., according to Rusty Hodge [somafm.com] of soma.fm [somafm.com]:

        "The law says that anything transmitted to listeners in the US is liable for the royalties."
        • by Gorshkov (932507)

          Not true. It kills internet radio broadcasts that stream to the U.S., according to Rusty Hodge of soma.fm: "The law says that anything transmitted to listeners in the US is liable for the royalties."
          And that's going to bother me here in Canada HOW?

          Last time I checked, U.S. law doesn't apply in Canada. You lot can make saying "eh" a capital offense, but it's not going to change how we speak up here one iota.
    • I think this move shows that the rafiaa is at least a bit hesitant to take this matter in front of Congress, where their "file-sharing is piracy" metaphor isn't quite as deeply entrenched (anyone remember Senator Stevens [ipaction.org]? The supreme court is involved in a very intricate game of precedence and interpretation, and right now one side is just playing a hell of a lot better.

      But I think FiniteElementalist hits this one on the head: the Riaa does not want this to become a political hot topic entering a presiden

  • Just say no. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Monday July 02, 2007 @07:33AM (#19715549) Journal
    These stations need to start up alternate stations that make use of indies. The only reason why soundexchange/riaa is agreeing to this, because they are realizing that they killing the golden goose.
    • Re:Just say no. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by zygotic mitosis (833691) on Monday July 02, 2007 @07:44AM (#19715597)
      This is the truth. Besides, we all know that indie bands are better. Who wouldn't prefer Minus the Bear to Fall Out Boy? K-OS to R Kelly? Anything to Nickelback? I hope the industry realizes that the successes of popular bands like Wilco and Pearl Jam as independent artists are not flukes.
      • by Seakip18 (1106315)
        Heh. Nickleback. An good, albeit already done, trick is to take "This is how you remind me" and "Someday,Somehow". Put on one the left channel and the other on the right. Listen to the result. Concidently, Nickelback's new song, "This is how you remind me of Someday when I had talent but got so bad that we had to start ripping ourselves off".
    • Part of the problem is SoundDomain is still charging fees for unsigned indie bands.

      They really struck gold with that little trick.
    • These stations need to start up alternate stations that make use of indies.

      It doesn't work that way. SoundExchange collects royalties for all music played, not just those bands that have registered for the service. The idea behind it was that keeping track of who has and has not registered with SoundExchange would be "too hard", so Congress just allows SoundExchange to collect for everyone, and distribute to those who have registered. Of course, in this day of internet databases and automated playlists that argument doesn't hold water anymore, but that's still how the system work

    • by westlake (615356)
      These stations need to start up alternate stations that make use of indies. The only reason why soundexchange/riaa is agreeing to this, because they are realizing that they killing the golden goose.

      It seems worth inserting a reminder that the statutory license works to the advantage of the independent artist.

      The broadcaster doesn't have to negotiate rights with 1,000 ephemeral no-name bands. He can broadcast pretty much anything he likes, anything that catches his interest, without fear of litigation som

  • Heh Heh Heh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LordPhantom (763327) on Monday July 02, 2007 @07:41AM (#19715581)
    FTA: "DiMA would agree to a $2,500 per-service cap for the entire term of the CRB ruling (through 2010), but not the partial-offer presented to us in writing, which would terminate in 2008.

    Why not longer, DiMA? If I were SoundExchange, I'd be amused with this - the longer they can make 2,500 the maximum, the more erosion of actual costs (inflation) will happen. $2,500 isn't what it used to be.
  • Finland.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:08AM (#19715709)
    Around 2000, when net radios were starting to pop up, the finnish equivalent of RIAA killed off all net radio activity in finland exactly the same way.

    Now - last week - they've turned around and are excited to offer this brand new venue for artists to reach their audience!

    It would be interesting to know the details of the new contract..
    • this is exactly what I understand

      a) you are a big fish, we allow you to broadcast for a bargain of $2500. We know you, we thrust you (the large ones are usually already FM stations which have been dealing with the music industries for decades and are controllable).

      b) you are a small fish, either you pay a ridiculous fee or shut up. You are our problem because there are too many of you we have no control over.

      In 2008 or later, when most of the small stations are gone, we negotiate new deals with the remainin
      • We know you, we thrust you
        That's an .. interesting relationship between the music associations over in your country.
  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:24AM (#19715801) Homepage Journal
    We should be helping the music cartels kill themselves, not trying to convince them of the stupidity of their actions. And I would rather my beloved internet radio stations go out as martyrs than forever hear them begging me for donations that will just end up going to the RIAA mobsters.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jez9999 (618189)
      I'd rather see them going offshore, surviving whilst the RIAA still dies anyway.
    • by westlake (615356)
      We should be helping the music cartels kill themselves, not trying to convince them of the stupidity of their actions. And I would rather my beloved internet radio stations go out as martyrs than forever hear them begging me for donations that will just end up going to the RIAA mobsters.

      Not all of us are content with garage band performance. There are entire genres of music that demand organization, talent, money, and resources that are very difficult to put together.

  • Why SoundExchange? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EPAstor (933084) on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:30AM (#19715823)
    Does anyone have any information as to what part of the law empowers SoundExchange to collect royalties for artists who do not have an explicit agreement with them? Personally, this is starting to seem like the most worrying thing about the state of US copyright, given how many ties I've heard cited between SoundExchange and the music distribution companies. It seems strange that this organization is allowed to collect on other people's work, especially since I've been given to understand that SoundExchange will not pay out royalties to the artist unless the artist in turn pays for a SoundExchange membership...
    • The SoundExchange website has links to the relevant laws and the "Notice of Designation As Collective Under Statutory License": http://www.soundexchange.com/about/about.html [soundexchange.com]

      Yes, SoundExchange is basically run by the RIAA, so I have my doubts as to whether their collection and payout methods are fair to non-RIAA artists (or even RIAA artists, for that matter). But as a practical matter, who else was going to offer to take on this responsibility? I haven't checked, but I have a feeling that when the Copy

      • Not exactly. Any Copyright owner can register a receiving agent with the Copyright Office. The DMCA included a provision that if no agent is registered by a copyright holder, the Copyright Office can assign one by default.

        Not sure when the Library of Congress made the ruling, but they assigned SoundExchange as the default receiving agent sometime in the late 90s (1999?). This was likely due to SoundExchange being the most mature and capable of the receiving agencies out there at the time (which, in line
    • Yes, we get to blamne the DMCA again. See title 17 of the US Code [copyright.gov], Section 114(f) 5A.

      Section 114 allows the Copyright Office to designate a receiving agent for those who have not registered a receiving agent with the Copyright Office.
    • by Abcd1234 (188840)
      It seems strange that this organization is allowed to collect on other people's work, especially since I've been given to understand that SoundExchange will not pay out royalties to the artist unless the artist in turn pays for a SoundExchange membership...

      Umm... who told you membership for artists costs money? As far as I can tell, you just have to follow their membership process [soundexchange.com], which involves signing some forms. Hell, the website explicitely says "Membership is free and open to all **sound recording c
      • Thank you for actually checking things out and offering sourced information rather than rumors. Even looking at their definitions of SRCOs and Featured Recording Artists, it really doesn't look like anyone who's made music is going to be charged.
      • by EPAstor (933084)
        My mistake, and if I could edit my original post, I would - I really was, and am, looking for more information. Thanks for clarifying that part, and for helping to source this!
    • by phildo420 (827619)
      This is an artificial barrier to entry. Before the internet, you had to get on the radio, which meant you needed a label behind you to say, "Hey, these guys are worth putting on the radio, give them a shot." etc. Now, with the internet, smaller bands (such as The Velmas) can broadcast their music online much cheaper and target people through services like Pandora, or even host their own personal internet radio channels. I could host strictly Dallas bands that are unsigned yet have recorded indie CDs and
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by westlake (615356)
      Does anyone have any information as to what part of the law empowers SoundExchange to collect royalties for artists who do not have an explicit agreement with them?

      SoundExchange collects and distributes all royalties under the statutory license.

      If you can think of a simpler way to encourage a broadcaster to take a chance on the no-name band, a simpler way for the no-name band to be receive payment for every broadcast, let me know.

      • by EPAstor (933084)
        Actually, I was curious to find out what part of the law allowed a non-governmental entity, with no codified oversight, to collect this money. Not necessarily criticizing, not claiming I had a better approach - I wanted to better understand the law behind this, since I hadn't managed to find the particular section that enabled this institution. Thanks for your feedback, though - if I do come up with a simpler way, I'll try to let you know. The only simpler way I know of now would be a Creative Commons lice
    • by thc69 (98798)

      It seems strange that this organization is allowed to collect on other people's work, especially since I've been given to understand that SoundExchange will not pay out royalties to the artist unless the artist in turn pays for a SoundExchange membership...
      You know, this sounds an awful lot like the Russian company that was handling royalties for allofmp3...
  • by Live_in_Dayton (805960) on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:50AM (#19715961)
    Warning, I got a really disgusting NSFW picture when I clicked on the phrase "it would agree to this". I would advise that the link be deactivated.
  • NSFW GOATSE (Score:5, Informative)

    by casings (257363) * on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:55AM (#19716003)
    GOATSE ALERT!!!!!

    Don't click the "it would agree to this link" it has either been hacked or the picture redirected to goatse!

    Warning!!!!!!
    • No need to be alarmed. That's just the RIAA's "Customer Relations" page on their site.
  • I don't like this idea of royalties. Radio (online or off) PROMOTES music, so that listeners are able to decide what they want to BUY! Music fans have a new option for hearing and sharing music, there's encrypted file sharing apps, such as GigaTribe ( http://www.gigatribe.com/ [gigatribe.com] ), that let people share music without big brother looking over their shoulder.
    • I wish I had mod points. This is exactly correct. In fact, I have a few bands that I wrote down to research while listening to a shoutcast stream the other day.

      Sell the CDs at the right price ($5-$10), and use streaming just like radio...as advertisement. Yeah, I can use streamripper to save it. I can also record stuff from the radio. Both are lower quality than what I would buy if I like what I hear, so if I hear something new, I'd be likely to buy it if the business model wasn't so fscked up.
  • It says "The Copyright Royalty that set the new online radio royalty rates . . ." but should probably say "The Copyright Royalty Board that set the new online radio royalty rates . . ."

    These are the entities formerly known as Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panels ("CARP"). True story: these were (very briefly) known as Copyright Royalty Arbitration Panels (which makes more sense, actually), but no one wanted to serve on a CRAP panel so they had to change the name.

  • If you want to broadcast not-for-profit, i don't see any reason why rightsholders should have to subsidize your fantasy by giving you a lower rate. Can somebody who disagrees with me tell me why, exactly, they believe that I am wrong? I really see no other way around it. We don't insist that PBS be allowed to rebroadcast monday night football simply because it's not for profit. Why should some webcaster, no matter what his scale, be allowed to suck away listeners from people who pay a market value for
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by wuzfuzzy (839106)
      Do you have a clue what this is all about? The main problem with these new rate is that all stations must pay for each song per channel PER LISTENER. All the stations are willing to pay a percentage of income just like SAT radio does, even though Traditional radio doesn't pay one red cent.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by lessermilton (863868)
      non-profit (at least the pure term) refers to stations like your local public radio.

      Radio's customers are NOT the listeners. Their customers are their advertisers. Their commodity is YOU, the loyal listener. Their product is not music, music is simply one of their expenses.

      Non-profit radio stations don't really have customers. At the most you could call either the listener, or the artists the customers. Listener, most likely, as you're the one who may or may not donate to them.

      Non-profit radio stations, by
      • by westlake (615356)
        Non-profit radio stations, by virtue of who and what they are, (AFAIK) are legally only allowed to play music that they have permission to play.

        The statutory license grants permission to play damn near everything. That is what all the shouting is about.

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