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Internet Radio's "Last Stand"

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the see-i-told-you-there-was-a-wolf dept.

Music 316

We've been discussing the plight of Internet radio for some time, as the Copyright Royalty Board imposed royalties that industry observers predicted would prove lethal to the nascent industry. We discussed Web radio's day of silence in protest, which won the industry a reprieve, and the futile efforts to find relief in Congress. Now it's looking as if the last act is indeed close. Death Metal Maniac sends along this Washington Post story with extensive quotes from Pandora CEO Tim Westergren, who said: "The moment we think this problem in Washington is not going to get solved, we have to pull the plug because all we're doing is wasting money... We're funded by venture capital. They're not going to chase a company whose business model has been broken." The article estimates that XM Satellite Radio will pay "about 1.6 cents per hour per listener when the new rates are fully adapted in 2010. By contrast, Web radio outlets will pay 2.91 cents per hour per listener." That's 70% of projected revenue for Pandora; smaller players estimate the hit at 100% to 300% of revenue.

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The day the music died (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24628695)

(I have to pay $0.08 for every person reading this post because of the subject.)

Re:The day the music died (5, Interesting)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628775)

I love Pandora. I listen to it almost constantly while I'm in front of my computer. I've found a ton of new bands that I love, and after discovering them, I've often purchased their music, either on CD or from iTunes. Shutting down Pandora would really suck.

Pirate Radio?? (4, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629083)

It is too bad that things like Pandora will go away.

You know, it seems that we need to try to take lessons maybe from the Pirate Radio stations of the past and present that operate on the fringe, or in areas untouchable by the powers that be.

Too bad we can't do some kind of distributable P2P type application, that would allow anyone to run streaming music/video into the ether....but, is untraceable as to origin. Some type of freenet type thing for streaming content. That way, anyone could set up a Pirate Internet Radio Station (PIRS ?).

Is anything like this possible I wonder?

Re:Pirate Radio?? (5, Insightful)

grantek (979387) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629363)

Meh, instead of a technical network like that, where everyone's living in fear of being shut down, I'd rather a more logical/social network, where people can, get this... create free music under CC/similar licenses and let other people actually listen to it...

Re:Pirate Radio?? (4, Interesting)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629473)

Yes, because at this moment it's not [fragmentmusic.net] possible [mono211.com] to create [thinner.cc] free music [uran97.com] . We totally need a network for that sort of stuff, which will also somehow solve the problem of Internet radio dying.

Re:Pirate Radio?? (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629537)

I wonder...

Sounds like I have a project to poke at for a few days.

Re:Pirate Radio?? (0, Troll)

Thaddeaus (777809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629557)

Yeah, because what the world needs is more avant-garde music, there really isn't enough synth-pop-electro-hillbilly rock out there as it is.

Re:Pirate Radio?? (4, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629643)

"Meh, instead of a technical network like that, where everyone's living in fear of being shut down, I'd rather a more logical/social network, where people can, get this... create free music under CC/similar licenses and let other people actually listen to it..."

Trouble is...they way things stand as I understand it...even if you play ONLY indie, free music, you are still subject to SoundExchanges fees. I think they collect even for people not registered to them....the laws passed were pretty sweeping if I recall from older Slashdot discussions on this.

So, to get by even that...I was thinking of some kind of Pirate Network Radio thing on a P2P or Freenet type network.

Re:Pirate Radio?? (1)

Thaddeaus (777809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629535)

Interesting thought....

One problem I see would be tagging; you find some stream with a bunch of songs that you like and they're just labeled 1, 2, 3, and so on. But yeah, MusicNet maybe?

Re:The day the music died (5, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629101)

Me too. Pandora is *awesome* (I'm listening to it now). I started listening to net radio back when di.fm was still DigitallyImported.com and I needed a little music while I was coding.

Now though... I work from home, I don't have a stereo with a radio in it. My only radio is internet radio. This is garbage. Ironically this will mean that RIAA and the like will be getting much less of my money. I'll be finding fewer bands whose music I like, buying fewer CDs as a result and they'll be getting no revenue from the Internet radio I listen to. I'm not sure what makes them think this is a good business choice.

Re:The day the music died (1)

Thaddeaus (777809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629759)

I'm not sure what makes them think this is a good business choice.

I think that it's all the know how to do. I mean, innovation? From those guys?

Re:The day the music died (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629821)

[i]I'm not sure what makes them think this is a good business choice.[/i]

The problem all lies in the sentence here. They DON'T think about ANYTHING. Instead they just have a thinktank of ideas to that might net them more money, pull one out and just go with it.

Re:The day the music died (2, Interesting)

jagdish (981925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629461)

I am more concerned about SomaFM. I love the Perl scripted robotic RJ.

What? (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629677)

I don't listen to net music radio at all, just talk radio which isn't threatened by this music deal, but are you saying these internet music broadcasters don't have an easy way to mash a button mid song while you are listening to it and have you automagically purchase it cheap? Or at least get it lined up in some purchasing queue, so the bands and promoters could see this was an effective medium. How the heck are they to know you heard it on pandora then went over to itunes to purchase it? I would have thought that would be common and easy by now.

Re:The day the music died (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628781)

I read it twice (bad memory), then read it to three friends. How much do I owe?

Re:The day the music died (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628859)

Does one of you still have it in cache?

Hmm bad memory, does that mean it's now modified, then we have another charge!

Screw them, we can get free music everywhere (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24628701)

And since this is slashdot, I'm sure quite a few of us are already familiar with OverClocked ReMix [ocremix.org] .

Re:Screw them, we can get free music everywhere (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629527)

Ummm... OCR is all great and all but it plays... Well, video game music. Which is great and all, but most of us would need a site like this http://thepiratebay.org/ [thepiratebay.org] to get the music we want

XM satellite radio will not exist in 2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24628737)

So I estimate that XM satellite radio will pay 0 cents per hour per listener in 2010.

Re:XM satellite radio will not exist in 2010 (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629213)

Too bad its stock price will also be close to zero cents per share in 2010. :)

So (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628789)

satellite killed the internet star?

Re:So (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629445)

CRB has broke your heart

Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (2, Interesting)

lambosv21 (1331897) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628825)

Thats really unfortunate. Corporations and the government can be thanked for limiting competition due to greed and in effect slowing down the potential rate of our innovation. I can only imagine what our country would be like if we had invested into our country just a portion of the money spent on war. Massive revamp on transportation with maglev trains across the country, and increased standards of living without the devaluation of the dollar. Pandora is innovation, and even its results (wide array of music tailored to each individual) can inspire creativity in individuals and further propel innovation. Those looking to maximize profits beyond what is necessary seem to have their sights set too narrow and either do not see or care that people across the internet can develop something better as a community.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (4, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628973)

In pure capitalism, the MAFIAA would have long been driven out of business. But they are doing something they should not be allowed to do: interfering in the government, buying laws for themselves.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (1, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629317)

Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the consumer. We can blame the government all we want, but where the market is concerned, the buck does stop here. Literally. The real problem is that consumers have become lazy.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (5, Insightful)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629509)

When laws are passed that drive a company out of business because it's no longer economical to consume their product (internet radio), that really is the government and not the consumer's fault. When a transaction is taxed for more than anyone is willing to pay for it, it stops happening legally.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629617)

Perhaps, but we, as consumers, keep handing money over to the entities that are responsible for this madness. Keep these entities in check, and these kinds of problems will be much less pervasive.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629561)

No, it is the government. Say all you want but us consumers have come up with good solutions such as torrents, internet radio, etc. But it is the government that is shutting them down.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629649)

I'm talking about natural market forces, not ways of circumventing copyright. In fact, several of the "solutions" that you've mentioned are in part, responsible for the situation we have now.

The government is shutting them down, but only because of lobbies belonging to certain entities that want them shut down.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629707)

The difference is, the RIAA is not a normal business. If I refuse to eat at a restaurant and a bunch of like minded people do to, chances are it will go out of business. When people boycott the RIAA they see it as a loss and think OMG PIRACY!!1!111! and use that as an excuse to pass more draconian laws.

Sure, after a long time (50 years or so) the RIAA will be bankrupt and disband, but not before taking the US and any other "free" country to 1984.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (0)

symbolic (11752) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629819)

First, people who have engaged in illegal copyright infringement, continuing to push the envelope and up the ante, are responsible for this. They have effectively given the RIAA something to (legitimately) complain about. Second, there is no law that can be passed requiring consumers to purchase content from RIAA-backed entities. If you think about it, despite all the whining the RIAA does, they aren't hurting. If consumers suddenly grew a backbone and decided that they were going to stop supporting this insanity, do you seriously think such a sudden shift in revenue could be chalked up to copyright infringement? In my mind, this is a market correction that should take place. Being that illegal copying has been so pervasive, keeping the RIAA honest about the real causes of any revenue shift isn't going to be easy. But that's not their fault.

Exactly (5, Insightful)

gerf (532474) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628983)

They'll claim that there will still be "radio" on the internet offered from regular radio stations. However, that is only a gimmick and advertising to promote another separate business (the original radio station), and means that an entire industry is being destroyed.

This move makes no sense other than to "test the waters" to see how far they can push business before they go bust.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (5, Insightful)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629093)

What we see in the US is not capitalism, it is corpratism, an unholy alliance between large corporations and the government. This is why you see laws created to make more profit for large companies, and bail outs from the government to large companies who lose a substation amount of capital due to bad business practices.

If we had real capitalism in this country, even capitalism with regulated markets (you know, laws to live by, like every other Individual has to follow) we would have a lot more innovation and new industries would rise up over night because they do not have to contend with being killed in the crib by a new law passed to favor established markets.

The Dark Side of the Greed. (5, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629099)

Corporations and the government can be thanked for limiting competition due to greed and in effect slowing down the potential rate of our innovation.

Ah, that's the Dark Side of greed.

The Light Side of greed sparks innovation because folks have an incentive to make money by creating something new.

The Dark Side always goes after the weak: the ones that can't innovate. It promises easy money, high barriers to entry with laws and regulations, keeping the status quo. Some greed masters like Masters Jobs and Wozniak break into a field of greed. They, being great greed masters, broke IBM along with another, though maligned greed master, Gates. But even then, The Dark Side can even ake the best of us as it did Master Gates. He seams to be coming back to the Light Side with his charity work.

Pay heed young greed patiwan, the Dark Side is always there for the lazy!

Re:The Dark Side of the Greed. (1)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629551)

I see entirely too much light from Master Jobs to consider him a paragon of the dark side. He's more balanced per se (Like Master Windu), since we do still see continuos innovation coming out of his company. Master Gates on the other hand has shown very little for love of innovation (love for malaria victims doesn't really seem to fit into this analogy unfortunately for Master Gates).

Re:The Dark Side of the Greed. (4, Informative)

fyoder (857358) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629659)

Some greed masters like Masters Jobs and Wozniak break into a field of greed.

That's not entire fair to Woz [wikipedia.org] . Jobs may have broken in, but Woz more or less stumbled in, and then reduced his role after a plane crash. He still has associations with Apple, but he's no "greed master" like Jobs or Gates. He's the sort who upon getting rich realizes he doesn't need to keep on with his day job, and moves on to more interesting things.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629539)

Adapt or Die!

The internet radio should do 100% indie music and flip the bird to the RIAA and their 'royalties'. Not only would it be a big blow to the RIAA (since they would no longer be gaining free publicity well technically publicity that is being paid for by someone else!) but they'd be promoting independent bands, who will more often than not not demand royalties since they'd be getting free publicity.

Re:Extreme capitalism stiffles faster innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629645)

Agree with the point about war spending.

But these evil corporations, especially in the media biz, only exist as long as artists continue to sell them their art. But it's easier to take the record contract than it is to distribute your own stuff.

The average entertainment consumer doesn't care who the label is, I don't think.

What it comes down to is GREED! (4, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628829)

SoundExchange has to ask itself this: Do we want 50% of something, or 100% of nothing? The fees placed on Internet radio are STAGGERING! No one can afford them. If SoundExchange wants ANY revenue, then they have to be realistic enough to share in the growing pains of this infant business as it tries to gain traction. Otherwise, they will have NOTHING! Of course, so far they have shown that they are too STUPID and too DISCONNECTED FROM REALITY to see the light! This might have something to do with a fact that they are a division if the RIAA and it's obvious that in this case the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

They also need an educational rate for colleges and schools and a non-commercial hobbiest rate for small 'bedroom' Internet stations

Re:What it comes down to is GREED! (5, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628901)

SoundExchange doesn't care. As a branch off of the major labels, the death of internet radio as we know it is almost a best case scenario. Once gone, they can shape the market the way they want to see it without interference from innovative small radio pioneers. This has less to do with getting money than it is about having a stranglehold on the internet market.

Re:What it comes down to is GREED! (2, Informative)

Thaddeaus (777809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629795)

I was just about to reply with the parents exact comment.

The one thing I would add though is that when SoundExchange/whatever giant corp decides to push internet radio, they're just going to turn into an internet Clear Channel so all you get the same song over and over and over and lots and lots of ads.

Re:What it comes down to is GREED! (4, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628903)

You're missing the point -- they aren't thinking in terms of "half of something is better than nothing" -- they're thinking in terms of stream rippers. They WANT internet radio to die.

Obvious solution -- broadcast from Venezuela. Chavez probably won't give a rip about the RIAA.

Re:What it comes down to is GREED! (5, Funny)

TheCastro (1329551) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628945)

Actually I have a buddy who broadcast using a server in Sweden, they don't care and if anyone busts in the bunker to get to the servers they explode, yeah they're hard core about server rights.

Re:What it comes down to is GREED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629417)

The fees are not staggering at all. Let's suppose everyone and their brother starts an internet radio station. Now you can find exactly the music you want to stream and listen to, for free, at least eventually if you keep looking.
 
So of course you love it and listen to it a mind-boggling 17 hours a day, every day of the year. The station, on your behalf, according to the numbers above, has just sent the rights holders $180. Gee, I hope there's no overhead on that, after all, you don't even have time to watch movies or buy actual albums or anything.
 
Are you really suggesting we should have a system where every American gets a license to listen to anything all year long for $50 a year? I'll conceed that there are people who would find that perfectly acceptable, but wake up: no one in the current music industry is going to think that's a good idea.

Re:What it comes down to is GREED! (4, Insightful)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629571)

The record companies don't want the revenue from internet radio, they want it gone. Internet radio allows easy discovery of music, something that the record industry has a pretty solid monopoly on currently. If they give up that monopoly, they risk becoming obsolete and actually having to work for their bread.

What are they thinking? (4, Insightful)

Girtych (1345935) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628831)

The more I follow the story of the fate of internet radio, the more I boggle over the collective stupidity of the Copyright Royalty Board.

By raising the rates, they're practically ensuring that they're not only pissing a lot of people off (almost everyone I know uses Pandora, for instance), but they're taking their revenue stream and choking it to death. Tons of net radio broadcasters are going to be forced to shut down over this, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it means that, despite the increased royalty rates, they actually make far less in fees in the long run. And that goes doubly so for Pandora, which is one of the best ways I've seen for music fans to find new artists and new styles of music they may never have considered before. So much for that revenue-boosting avenue.

Re:What are they thinking? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24628981)

Is it really that complicated?

A recording label can only own so many artists. By limiting the total airtime available to promote artists they can improve the value of the big name artists. Sure, they lose money in terms of royalties, but they see themselves making a lot more on the other side of this equation. If all that most people can listen to is top 40, then people who own top 40 artists make a lot more money.

Re:What are they thinking? (4, Insightful)

hellwig (1325869) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629147)

Exactly. They aren't concerned with killing internet radio, they're trying to kill the "mom and pop" internet radio companies. They need their music played on radio stations they control, so they can properly maintain who gets played how often. I'll often listen to a local rock radio station in my car until I hear a song I don't like, and switch to the other rock radio station. I listen to the new rock radio station until I HEAR THE SAME FUCKING SONG that caused me to switch in the first place, then turn the damn radio off or switch to my CD player. The record labels influence the radio stations to play the same songs over and over (same with watching MTV, if anyone still does that). The songs become so engrained, that to not listen to them causes people great pain. The only way to quell that pain is to buy the CD or download the music (legitamately).

If your mom-and-pop just plays the song once, there's no revenue to the record label from that. No great public interest is created in the song or the artist. The CRB and record labels are driving the current internet radio stations out of business to open the market up for major companies like ClearChannel to spring up their own crop of internet radio sites. Only since they'll be run by a corporate giant, they'll be more controlled and regulated to the labels' liking.

Re:What are they thinking? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629587)

The record labels influence the radio stations to play the same songs over and over (same with watching MTV, if anyone still does that).

MTV plays music?

Re:What are they thinking? (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628989)

I entirely agree, but there may have been a few briefcases full of hookers who are full of money involved to tip the balance.

Re:What are they thinking? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629031)

Wouldn't that be "Tons of US net radio broadcasters are going to be forced to shut down over this"? The USA is not the Internet, nor vice versa. At least, that's what I heard.

Re:What are they thinking? (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629299)

Yes, but how many stations outside of the US, are still controlled by US companies? Do you listen to Internet Radio? if so... are they all outside of US control?

Pandora, for instance, used to be in the the UK, and Canada (among others), now its US only.

How many of these [wikipedia.org] that are music/multimedia stations are based in the US?

I'd wager probably 90% of them, most of those that aren't, have 1000 users... this is probably great for them, as people hunt out new stations, in Soviet Russia Internet Radio Plays For You... but how long before they all start doing "Available In X Country Only " because of threats from this Label, or that Regulation... as soon as a station does that, it usually ends up the same as Radio-Radio... Top40, some obnoxious pseudo-DJ, and ads every second song, doesnt matter what language or country, no one really enjoys that.

Plus, how many of the songs you listen to are American/US bands? What if they were all band from the Stations outside the US?... And even if none are US bands, would it not bother you?...etc, etc, etc.

Silly Record Execs (4, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628845)

I just don't understand why shareholders of the major record companies don't revolt. These jokers in charge seem dead set on destroying the "industry". Boneheaded moves like trying to keep new music away from listeners is just asinine. Radio is how many people find new (or old) songs for the first time. Clearly net radio is a huge market, why shoot themselves in the foot in the name of short term greed.

Re:Silly Record Execs (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629009)

I just don't understand why shareholders of the major record companies don't revolt.

They're probably content to believe the pablum being fed to them by the executives of the RIAA members instead of actually researching the market for themselves.

More arbitrary fees (4, Interesting)

blue l0g1c (1007517) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628849)

What if I'm the owner of an internet radio station that plays only music that has become public domain through the consent of the owner or the expiration of copyrights?

Or perhaps I only like to play songs by artists who sell their CD's for less than the industry standard. Say, $5 a CD. Will my fees be lessened?

The artists really need to get involved. Laws like this are taking away more revenue than they are generating. For example, last.fm will recommend a group based on what I've been listening to. More often than not, I will listen to more of that group's music. If I like it, I find out if they are coming to a venue nearby. I go to the show and buy merchandise, because I know that's the best way to get money into the right hands.

It's kind of what I imagine FM radio used to be, but we all know what happened to that.

Re:More arbitrary fees (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628939)

Umm ... if the RIAA doesn't control the rights to the music, it can't collect any royalties. Internet radio won't be dead, US based broadcasts of RIAA music will be dead.

parent is right (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629545)

Internet radio won't be dead, US based broadcasts of RIAA music will be dead.

Yes, that is exactly right. And that means we should be more determined than ever to support pop culture which is sustainable, i.e. NO RIAA music. Sadly, most people really are passive "consumers" of entertainment, but it certainly doesn't have to be that way.

Personally, I've been creating, buying, and listening to RIAA-free music exclusively for over two years now. When that music goes offline it will pretty much a non-event for me as a listener.

Re:More arbitrary fees (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629605)

No *legal* broadcasts of internet radio will be dead in the US. All this law is going to to is turn legal radio stations into pirate radio stations overnight.

Re:More arbitrary fees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629823)

US based broadcasts of RIAA music will be dead.

And nothing of value was lost!

Re:More arbitrary fees (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629135)

"What if I'm the owner of an internet radio station that plays only music that has become public domain through the consent of the owner or the expiration of copyrights?

Or perhaps I only like to play songs by artists who sell their CD's for less than the industry standard. Say, $5 a CD. Will my fees be lessened?"

The trouble is...if I recall correctly, somehow, they passed laws that anyone streaming content...is subject to SoundExchange fees...regardless of if you use RIAA or other content of providers that SE pays with the fees.

I was shocked....I might be wrong, but, I believe this was part of the law...

Re:More arbitrary fees (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629403)

disclaimer: i have inside connections with the bigwigs of major music labels. i despise their business model but they are good people. therefore my information below comes from their mouths

you are incorrect. any music soundexchange collects royalties for is subject to fees. an artist has to register to soundexchange in order to collect royalties. its pretty open and shut. except for this little tidbit: if you are an indy artist and a jukebox plays your music in a bar but your music is free.. soundexchange is collecting money on your behalf. your only option to ensure your music is free is to enforce your copyright and tell the bar to remove your music from the soundexchange-tethered jukebox. downside of that is your music won't be heard unless you can somehow convince the bar owner to replace the jukebox with a jukebox that allows free music to be played on it (but this creates a huge liability for the owner. see the problem?)

similar things happen with the radio, except you have to negotiate your own royalty deal with radio stations. generally they won't play music unless the general public knows who you are. the big 4 can throw money at billboards to garner interest and then pressure the radio station into playing them.

artists need to break away from the big 4. the original mp3.com was perfect for this... then they sold out and that, my friends, killed the internet radio star.

Re:More arbitrary fees (1)

Everyone Is Seth (1202862) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629719)

If this is true, it's just disgusting. "Collecting money on your behalf"? Yeah, that sounds completely legitimate. Basically what you are saying is that the only way someone, as an indie artist, can ensure their music is free is to make sure that it doesn't get played. That's the full circle on that line of logic. And that's what the these "good people" bigwigs want, correct?

Re:More arbitrary fees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629825)

Congress is infected by the disease of unaccountability, as are the people that run the (largely foreign-owned) media companies. That in itself is worrisome, that a foreign oligopoly can influence our government to such an insane degree, and for so little money. I mean, if our Congressthugs could at least hold out for a few hundred million in bribes rather than the paltry sums they accept now, it might slow down the rise of corpratism in this country.

Re:More arbitrary fees (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629569)

What if I'm the owner of an internet radio station that plays only music that has become public domain through the consent of the owner or the expiration of copyrights?
.

Then you can expect to lose your audience to the stations and services which can pay the fees. The stations and services which have full access to over one hundred years of recorded music.

The classical music fan expects to hear Bernstein and The New York Philharmonic.

The country fan Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison.

In any musical genre there are the essential artists and performances.

It doesn't help you much as a broadcaster when a performance enters the public domain - but your only source is the box of sun-warped 78s and early LPs you purchased at an estate sale.

Royalty Pricing (3, Insightful)

TheCastro (1329551) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628857)

It's such a joke. we aren't going to have free radio anywhere anymore. Hardly anyone listens to XM or Sirus (hence the merger) and the radio already has so many ads that it takes more effort than its worth to constantly flip stations.

I was going to start using Pandora off my iPhone at work and on the way to work along with my normal playlists, but I'm afraid that web radio stations aren't going to make it after this price point.

I'm sure Pandora will stick it out since 30% of it's profit, will still be profit, but most places with limited ads on their sites will either have to increase their ads or ad revenue to stay afloat and knowing how little companies like to pay for advertising space this wont work out well for them.

I'm sorry everyone who listens to music for free, but doesn't download illegally, it looks like the music industry knows no bounds in how to FUCK PEOPLE OVER.

*sad face*

*middle finger* (D.C. beltway style)

Re:Royalty Pricing (5, Funny)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628977)

Ah well, back to piracy for me.

This is the only way (5, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629175)

There is a point when trying to fight the society with it's own rules is futile.

Think about what this sick society orders you: You have to believe in stupid jesus, you can't smoke pot, you can't have privacy, you can't listen to music, Save on your energy use so the big industries can have more oil for them, You can't say shit on tv, blah blah blah!!!
B U L L S H I T.

Screw them, most of what we do daily to maintain some level of freedom in our lives is illegal. If you really abide by all the rules, pay all the taxes, and stick to stupid society's moral rules, YOU ARE NOT ALIVE, you become a Zombie.

I'll sniff, drink, believe, take, download, copy, share, do, read, write, think, say, modify, film and build WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT.

Re:This is the only way (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629225)

Precisely. Though for me I don't generally like RIAA bands anyway. I'm hoping that the Indies will form up radio stations of their own. With net neutrality it's a great idea. Without it...well, it could suck. I wonder if the new pay-for-internet will let you pay $$$ to reduce someone else's priority rather than just bumping your own, forcing them to match you dollar for dollar. Let the market decide!

Re:Royalty Pricing (4, Informative)

Kamots (321174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629109)

You're confusing profit with revenue.

Profit is what is left over after you pay for servers and bandwidth and salaries and everything else.

Revenue is what you take in before you've payed for all of that.

The fees are hitting 70% of the REVENUE.

it won't die (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24628867)

No. Internet radio will not die. It will just move outside the more and more draconian USA.

Re:it won't die (2, Insightful)

Bwana Geek (1033040) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628925)

It can come to Canada! When Pandora stopped streaming outside the US, I died a little inside.

Re:it won't die (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629631)

No, it will simply make legal radio stations pirate radio stations.

Even satellite radio can't survive at their rates! (5, Informative)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628949)

Do the math. .016/hour times 24 hours in a day = 38.4 cents a day. 38.4 cents a day times 30 days equals $11.52 a month. XM only gets 12.99 a month for their fees-so the rights are something like 94% of their income. They simply can't make any money with what's left! The only thing I can think is that they have some kind of formula that estimates the average hours listened to by a subscriber-remember thats'a no way to actually know what listeners are listening to and for how long they're listening as well (like broadcast radio, satellite is a one way broadcast technology). I suppose the new Arbitron people meter will make things easier for them, as it also will survey satellite radio stations that are encoded.

Remember that Internet radio's rates are almost TWICE as high as satellite's. The only thing I can come up with is that SoundExchange WANTS to put Internet radio out of business for some reason-that's the reason they're setting rates as high as they are!

Re:Even satellite radio can't survive at their rat (3, Interesting)

Mr Rohan (87542) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629169)

They obviously haven't worked out the model yet - traditional broadcasters don't pay nearly as much - in Australia the equivalent body takes less than 4% [apra.com.au] .

Traditional broadcvasters don't pay ANYTHING! (1)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629247)

All traditional broadcasters pay is ASCAP, BMI and SESAC fees-NOTHING to SoundExchange-though there's a bill in Congress now that aims to change that too! The record companies want to force radio stations to pay as well.

Re:Even satellite radio can't survive at their rat (1)

FlatEric521 (1164027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629333)

Satellite radio already was struggling. Remember, cash flow was a big part of the reason for the merger between XM and Sirius. They were competing with free broadcast stations, and it was slow going to convince people to sign up. I think they were finally getting help from auto manufacturers including satellite radio equipment in new cars. However, if they now have to raise their rates to pay for copyright royalties, I think they are going to start to lose market share.

How many times can you shoot yourself in the foot (5, Insightful)

Yxven (1100075) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628967)

before you die? I started listening to Internet radio seven months ago. Since then, I haven't listened to my MP3 collection at all, or been on any file sharing networks to expand it.

I've been exposed to and promoted countless new bands that I never would have heard of on my own.

...and now they want me to go back to my MP3 collection? Surely, they're not dumb enough to believe that I'll go back to Clear Channel? Right?

Web radio shuts down for a day... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24628975)

... and nothing of value was lost.

A small correction (4, Informative)

knarf (34928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629013)

*US based* internet radio's last stand...

Don't forget... In the free world US laws do not apply...

Re:A small correction (4, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629035)

Hahaha... that's funny. You know the US isn't afraid to "free" any country that needs "democracy" right?

Re:A small correction (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629489)

Yes, there's no doubt that the US will invade and occupy any country that continues to operate Internet radio stations.

Jesus fucking Christ.

Re:A small correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629625)

And somehow, this is modded 'funny'? I find it frightening.

Re:A small correction (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629639)

So then when are we going to invade ourselves to make us a Democracy?

Re:A small correction (5, Informative)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629217)

True. I have to say that I really don't care anymore about Pandora or other Internet radio stations after I found Deezer [deezer.com] . The thing I liked about both Pandora and Last.fm was that I could listen songs freely which lead into a habit of skipping songs or creating a new radio station just to listen the song again. I think that many people used Pandora and Last.fm this way. Now with Deezer I have the freedom to play whatever songs whenever I like to, that's the way I like it, so there is no need for Pandora or Last.fm anymore for me. In addition now Deezer caters decent radio stations based on more or less on their own selection. Pandora's and Last.fm's idea about having smart radio stations wasn't bad, but having your own customized playlists allow more freedom to you and pre-selected radio stations offer better and more coherent content than any smart selection.

Re:A small correction (3, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629453)

The caveat about Deezer is that it's a European operation. Deezer and other European sites offering similar services are allocating money for royalties while the European versions of SoundExchange figure out just how in the hell things are going to work.

If the royalty rates come in as expected, then great -- Deezer and their ilk will be going strong. But if European royalty negotiations go the way they have here in the US, Deezer might be the next to go.

Re:A small correction (1)

dotwaffle (610149) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629307)

Yes, unfortunately, they do. Copyright infringement doesn't matter which border it crosses. Although Cliff Richard's songs of the 50s are becoming out-of-copyright (on the recordings) in the UK, I still can't get US music from the 40s as it's under copyright. Go figure.

O.k., I am sort of stupid so please explain... (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629137)

How this affects things like Internet website talk radio with no music and no commercials?

I am in the process of setting up a talk radio icecast server on a website and this is sort of worrying.

Anybody got a URL or two they want to share?

But Golly Wally... (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629245)

all you gotta do his fork over teh dough to XM/Sirius and you can have all the cookie cutter muzic you want...and now with commercial chips added, too!

I sure do love cookies. Mmmmm.

SomaFM (2, Interesting)

Thaddeaus (777809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629289)

Listening to SomaFM Lush as I sit at my computer. Sure, they ask for money once or twice an hour and there's definitly some repeating (but I love 95% of the songs, so who cares), but I can't imagine what it'll be like with no internet radio. Sad, just sad.

radio murmur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629295)

it is certain that recording a sound you hear is uncontrollable. you can shut down internet radios but even when you shut down music distribution over the internet (God forbid), you wouldn't be controlling pirates. if any company wants to restrict copying any material, it should not record anything in the first place. we have microphones anyhow...

copying a CD is illegal, sure (lossless).
ripping a CD into mp3 format is illegal, hmm.. doubtful.. but okay. (lossy, may perceptually be lossless)
really low quality mp3 is illegal, why?? (simply lossy, we can't even hear most of the instruments in it)

this forces me to raise a question:
would murmuring a song and distributing a recorded version of it be illegal?
or.. would converting a song into acapella (except copyrighted "acapella" songs) and distributing it be illegal?

is it purely illegal when we whistle in tune?

where's the limit of copyright?

If you like Pandora... (3, Insightful)

shark72 (702619) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629345)

...then please consider paying the $3 a month to subscribe. Seriously.

I know the sentiment is that we don't want to pay for music unless it's in the form of a DRM-free, lossless file which we can give to all of our friends. We want it for $0.10 per track, and when the industry makes it available for $0.10 a track, we'll just say that we want it for $0.05 a track and go about our swashbuckling ways.

I fully understand that Pandora does not meet this requirement. It's just not their model. I just ask that you think of it it this way: does Pandora give you $3 worth of musical enjoyment a month?

Mainstream radio sucks. Supporting Pandora gives each of us a chance to be part of the solution, not the problem.

Internet radio will live forever (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629407)

Internet radio will live forever

It just won't contain the overdubbed pop tarts and overworked back catalog of the RIAA. I'm ok with that. The sooner we hear the last of them, the better.

Re:Internet radio will live forever (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629593)

What you may not realize is that SoundExchange is the mandatory collector for EVERYONE. Even if you release your works under CC license and explicitly say "no royalties for 'web radio'" in your license, the operator still has to play the fee.

Retarding progress of science and art again (4, Interesting)

gessel (310103) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629531)

This is just yet another example of how the current copyright regime is prima facia unconstitutional.

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries

Copyright is not a property right; copyright is an agreement between the public and authors & inventors creating a privilege [wikipedia.org] of limited exclusive right as incentive for dissemination of ideas because otherwise authors & inventors have only the choice of keeping their inventions secret or sharing them that the recipient does what he or she will with the information without limitation, which is the natural right [wikipedia.org] of the recipient.

Any mechanism of securing exclusive right to the author or inventor must meet two tests to be constitutional:

  • the term of the exclusive right must be limited (that is it is not a property right),
  • the mechanism must demonstrably promote the progress of science and the useful arts.

An attempt [nytimes.com] was made to test the absurdly long exclusive term against the "limited" requirement and that failed because any finite term is by definition limited.

The test that must now be made is against the requirement that copyright laws "promote the progress of science and the useful arts." The burden of proof should be on demonstrating that the laws do promote the progress of science and the useful arts because copyright is a limitation on the rights of the public and therefore intrinsically a burden on society. In granting copyright society temporarily yields their natural right to a privilege offered authors & inventors, a privilege that may be revoked at any time. [uchicago.edu]

Current copyright laws do not pass the test of promoting the progress of science and the useful arts; they are a burden on innovation and have systematically retarded the progress of science and technology, strangling many significant innovations, once again with internet radio. Current copyright laws are therefore unconstitutional.

RIP internet radio, e-com and cable TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629623)

While doing research for another project, I stumbled onto a few interesting notes about other innovators whose nuts were cut off by government regulation, competition from the establishment, etc.

One was the USPS. The US Postal Service designed two electronic mail document delivery services, E-COM and Intelpost. E-COM was rolled out in 1977. Immediately, Congress, the FCC and private companies started screaming about anti-trust, et. al, and eventually the programs were neutered and then completely abandoned. The history of E-COM is really fascinating, especially since I've never viewed the USPS as a source for cutting-edge innovation. But they tried.

The other was an early distrust of cable TV delivery systems, going back to the early 1950's and not ending until the 1970's. My local city council and politicians rallied hard against the evil empire of paid TV and even convinced voters to approve measures that ensured that the whole concept of TV that you paid for was shelved for decades. Other later innovators had to sue the pants off everyone in order to be allowed to move forward with the technology that today we all take for granted.

Sadly it sounds as if Pandora and internet radio is going to be stomped and the fire put out by clueless windbags and corporate interests who don't understand that this is the future, whether they like it or not.

alternate business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629669)

sign your own bands...

Equality First! - Performance Rights Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24629687)

Things should be "fair" across the board for Internet, Satellite and Terrestrial royalty rates.

If H.R.4789/S.2500 [ Performance Rights Act ] sees the light of day we might see that equality, although it may annihilate the "Mom & Pop" stations.

Right now, Terrestrial stations are floating in money! Why? Take a guess at how much they pay for broadcasting the same music. A company named "Clear Channel" will get pretty bent if they have to pay the rate Internet, or even Satellite broadcasters have to pay.

Equality First!

College radio? (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629695)

I'm curious, how does college radio factor into all this? The station in my city plays all kinds of music, jazz, indie, metal, mainstream, you name it. AFAIK they don't pay the music industry a dime to do this, but they don't make any money either. Once a year they hold a funding drive that basically pays for the transmitter and equipment. Does this fall under fair use? Or am I wrong in thinking they don't pay royalties for what they play?

Re:College radio? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629729)

Well think of it this way, if I download some music from TPB for non-profit use and leave BT on and it uploads to another person using it for non-profit use, the RIAA can still sue you for some insane amount of $$$. College radio may be an exception, but I wouldn't count on it.
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