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Licensing Problem Silences Internet Radio Stations

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.

Music 100

SEWilco writes "Hundreds of Internet radio stations that use SWCast.net for services have been affected by a shutdown triggered by SoundExchange, who claim lack of payment of royalty fees. Apparently SoundExchange has a new president, and this might be a factor in acting on several years of missing payments. In the meantime, SWCast radio stations suffer after paying to legally broadcast."

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100 comments

Anagram (5, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907138)

Silences is an anagram for licenses. That's all I have. But I found that more interesting than TFS.

Re:Anagram (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907210)

That's all you need... What more can be said?

Re:Anagram (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907538)

The real story here is that swcast took their clients' money and told them they had a license to broadcast certain content, which turned out to be a lie. So swcast is the villain here, not soundexchange.

Re:Anagram (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907568)

So swcast is the villain here, not soundexchange.

The true villain here is the US legal system, for threatening violent coercive force against those music providers who fail to pay a steep tax to a protected class of parasitic rentiers.

Re:Anagram (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907736)

FTFMe -- good job, too!!

Re:Anagram (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908068)

Hmm...wish there was an analogous way to run a pirate radio station on the internet like you can on the airwaves....something that isn't quite as easy to track...etc.

Yes, I know the FCC will come looking for you...but they have to at least put some effort into finding you, and I'm guessing unless you are really high power and stepping over other people, messing with tvs, etc....they're not that well funded or interested in enough to chase everyone down.

Re:Anagram (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908652)

...wish there was an analogous way to run a pirate radio station on the internet...

Not until wireless mesh can get around the service provider problem.. But that doesn't mean you can't setup a powerful wifi and/or make a 'mini mesh' for your neighborhood and just stream your music collection and/or propaganda

Re:Anagram (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045370)

There is, you put the server where where the law can't get at them (i.e. another country).

Re:Anagram (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908892)

So swcast is the villain here, not soundexchange.

The true villain here is the US legal system...

I'm not convinced that's an "either-or" proposition. Seems to me you're both right.

Re:Anagram (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909500)

No the true villain here is Randall Krause.
Did you see this guys picture from the swcast link?
There is something wrong with him.

Notice in his response nowhere does he state that he did in fact pay.

Re:Anagram (2)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907962)

In the UK, they spell it "Cilences".

escrow rent (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907214)

Traditionally, if you have trouble paying something, you pay to a reliable registered third party until things are cleared up.

That's quite a President and CEO (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907240)

Wow. SWCast's "President" looks like an emo 17-year-old teen who just pulled a suit jacket out of a laundry hamper.

I'm surprised he's not wearing a fedora, too.

Re:That's quite a President and CEO (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907328)

I bet he thinks using an Apple makes him a rebel.

Wow. Just WOW! (3, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907672)

Have you SEEN his pic? Good grief! http://www.swcast.net/ [swcast.net]

Re:Wow. Just WOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907936)

He looks like a refugee from an off-off-off Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, not like a boss.

Re:Wow. Just WOW! (2)

Angeret (1134311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908662)

Kerrrissst! Do you mind? I was eating, you inconsiderate sod!

Re:Wow. Just WOW! (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908796)

Doesn't look real.. Somebody's learning how to use Blender.. This might be the second or third try..

Re:Wow. Just WOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909118)

"You would if you had robot ears!"
"I am a robot, I have a robot vagina"

Re:Wow. Just WOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909640)

Is the girl in the picture wearing headphones the pornstar Raven? Sure looks like her. At least, that's what someone I know said...

If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was lifted from Howard Stern, when she rode a Sybian live on the air.

Re:Wow. Just WOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910744)

Photoshopped!

Re:Wow. Just WOW! (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35926488)

Actually in this pic he looks like an FTM.

Re:That's quite a President and CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907344)

Wow. SWCast's "President" looks like an emo 17-year-old teen who just pulled a suit jacket out of a laundry hamper.

I'm surprised he's not wearing a fedora, too.

Wow, that dude's head looks like he was dragged out of the womb through a bendy straw using a pair of needle nose pliers.

Re:That's quite a President and CEO (2)

Calydor (739835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907748)

Doesn't he kinda look like Nicola Tesla on Sanctuary?

Re:That's quite a President and CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911684)

He looks like Dr. Frank-N-Furter cut his hair, washed his face and put a suit on over his garters to me.

Re:That's quite a President and CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909460)

DJ SorceryKid what have you been doing?

Isn't it wonderful when the internet can let you reach out and touch someone's past?

found at: http://www.nekromancy.com/

Re:That's quite a President and CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35915200)

Amusingly he has a completely different pic on www.swcast.net versus swcast.net

http://www.swcast.net/images/rkrausesl.jpg

http://swcast.net/images/rkrausesm.jpg

Lots of words, but nothing said. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907246)

Unfortunately, I don't think things bode well for SWCast members.... The post by the CEO was lots of words about his wonderful past and very little substance about addressing the take down notice by SoundExchange. The SWCast CEO failed to refute any of their claims or provide any reassurance that their service would be up soon (note that this may be on the advice of his lawyers, but he doesn't even mention that he is working with his lawyers to resolve it ASAP)

He doesn't even apologize to customers for the disruption.

Re:Lots of words, but nothing said. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907346)

He's way too hip for all that conventional stuff.

Re:Lots of words, but nothing said. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907404)

Thanks for summarizing that, I tried to read it but found myself unable to stop laughing at his photo.

Re:Lots of words, but nothing said. (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907540)

I second the Thanks; it is impossible to not laugh at his photo.

Re:Lots of words, but nothing said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35908870)

It's interesting what will make an adult laugh, and what will simultaneously make small children cry, run, and hide.

Re:Lots of words, but nothing said. (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911388)

Thanks for summarizing that, I tried to read it but found myself unable to stop laughing at his photo.

The sad part is, it's probably the best photo they have of him.

Re:Lots of words, but nothing said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909388)

The post by the CEO was lots of words about his wonderful past and very little substance about addressing the take down notice by SoundExchange.

Hmmm... responds to a scandal by completely ignoring the issue and talking at length about how wonderful it is that he's president. He's like a white Obama!

Re:Lots of words, but nothing said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912524)

Lots of communication, apologies, and notes about a resolution on FB

http://facebook.com/swcastnetwork

A sucker born every minute (4, Insightful)

Risen888 (306092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907296)

In the meantime, SWCast radio stations suffer after paying to legally broadcast.

Well, I'm sorry, suckers, but that's what you get. If there's one lesson that New Media needs to get mercilessly beaten into its collective brain, it's that you do not attempt to play ball with Old Media. If anyone expected to get anything but fucked, shame on them.

Re:A sucker born every minute (4, Insightful)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907400)

Sure, this wouldn't have happened if there were no license fees at all, but at face value this doesn't appear to be a media industry issue. Based on Sound Exchange's post, it would appear that SWCast was a fraudulent operation, plain and simple. This is no different from a Ponzi scheme or any other fraud. People thought they were paying for a service and instead the money went into a black hole. The radio stations were stupid to sign up without checking they were in compliance, and now they should sue the crap out of SWCast.

Re:A sucker born every minute (3, Insightful)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907926)

lol. soundexchange is the fraudulent operation, albeit one abetted by congress.

Re:A sucker born every minute (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909968)

lol. soundexchange is the fraudulent operation, albeit one abetted by congress.

Tell me what is fraudulent about collecting royalties for public performance - 45% of which go straight to the featured artist.

5% to the session players.

50% to the sound recording copyright owner, which can be an Indie label or the artist himself.

If you want to know who pays royalties to SoundExchange, the full list for 2010 can be found here. [soundexchange.com]

CBS, Clear Channel, Music Choice, Muzak, Pandora and so on. Muzak has been around since 1936.

"Performance Rights" issues - wired and wireless - are nothing new.

One of the first telephone exchanges in the states had an "on demand" phonographic music service in the 1880s.

Subscribers could ask Central to play Edison cylinders over the line for an additional monthly fee.

Re:A sucker born every minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910538)

Tell me what is fraudulent about collecting royalties for public performance - 45% of which go straight to the featured artist.

Howsabout the part where the rate for these royalties was originally set so high that no webcaster could possibly stay in business? Or perhaps the fact that SoundExchange has successfully campaigned to get Internet rebroadcasts of terrestrial radio (which pays NO royalties) stuck with the same rate as webcasters?

Re:A sucker born every minute (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911160)

Tell me what is fraudulent about collecting royalties for public performance - 45% of which go straight to the featured artist.

5% to the session players.

50% to the sound recording copyright owner, which can be an Indie label or the artist himself.

Most artists don't get paid anything because they haven't bothered to register [soundexchange.com] .

Re:A sucker born every minute (1)

DJ Particle (1442247) | more than 3 years ago | (#35915396)

I *am* a comedy music artist, and I won't register. I won't register with ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC either.

Some things are more important than money. I simply don't want any third party to "represent" me.

Re:A sucker born every minute (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908122)

I've been browsing over some fo the Soundexchange's FAQ...wow, it sounds like they're wanting you to pay them if you have any sort of webcast. Maybe it is the wording....but almost sounds like if stream anything...even recordings YOU make yourself (musical or otherwise) they are wanting you to pay them a license???

Can someone tell me if I'm reading that correctly or not?

Re:A sucker born every minute (3, Informative)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909782)

I've been browsing over some fo the Soundexchange's FAQ...wow, it sounds like they're wanting you to pay them if you have any sort of webcast. Maybe it is the wording....but almost sounds like if stream anything...even recordings YOU make yourself (musical or otherwise) they are wanting you to pay them a license???

Can someone tell me if I'm reading that correctly or not?

Yes, you're reading that right. The way the regulations are written, you must pay royalties to SoundExchange and then negotiate with them on reimbursement for works not copyrighted by one of the media/content cartel players.

Even if you're streaming only your own totally original, personally-written & performed music., technically you must pay SoundExchange and then file with SoundExchange as the artist in question who is "owed", and hope you see the money back (minus SoundExchange's percentage, of course) before the next geologic age comes to pass.

Basically it's a way to put a boot on the throat of non-cartel-associated streaming stations and independent artists/labels by buying legislation.

It's all part of Big Media's efforts to prevent artists and their fans/customers from using the internet to do an end-run around Big Media's real-life, conventional distribution/publication/marketing channels that take cuts at each stage.

Government will not help, as the internet and it's communications possibilities make government-types nervous, and so they're all for increasing internet restrictions, regulations, and controls in an effort to keep the populace under their control & surveillance while eliminating dissenting voices and economically-disruptive new individual-empowering distribution methods and technologies.

Strat

Re:A sucker born every minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35955014)

This is absolutely NOT true. SoundExchange is non-exclusive, so you can play your own stuff (or stuff belonging to anyone else who says you can) and just not pay royalties for it.

"If I join SoundExchange can I still negotiate a license with a webcaster
if I want to?

Yes. Although membership in SoundExchange prohibits you from licensing your sound
recording copyrights to another royalty collective for purposes of collecting and
distributing Sections 112 and 114 statutory royalties on your behalf, your membership in
SoundExchange does not in any way limit your ability to enter into direct (i.e.,
nonstatutory) licenses of any sound recordings that you own, whether with webcasters or
other potential statutory licensees. SoundExchange simply requires that SRCOs notify it
of any direct licenses entered into with statutory licensees or digital music service
providers so that it can ensure that payments received from services that hold direct
licenses to certain recordings are calculated correctly and allocated properly."

From the ABA:
http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/2011_build/entertainment_sports/faqforartistslabels.authcheckdam.pdf

Re:A sucker born every minute (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35961410)

This is absolutely NOT true. SoundExchange is non-exclusive, so you can play your own stuff (or stuff belonging to anyone else who says you can) and just not pay royalties for it.

"If I join SoundExchange can I still negotiate a license with a webcaster
if I want to?

Yes. Although membership in SoundExchange prohibits you from licensing your sound
recording copyrights to another royalty collective for purposes of collecting and
distributing Sections 112 and 114 statutory royalties on your behalf, your membership in
SoundExchange does not in any way limit your ability to enter into direct (i.e.,
nonstatutory) licenses of any sound recordings that you own, whether with webcasters or
other potential statutory licensees. SoundExchange simply requires that SRCOs notify it
of any direct licenses entered into with statutory licensees or digital music service
providers so that it can ensure that payments received from services that hold direct
licenses to certain recordings are calculated correctly and allocated properly."

A streaming station must obtain a signed contract from each copyright owner for each work and register it with Sound Exchange. If no valid contract is in the Sound Exchange database, then the station's owner will be held liable for royalties to Sound Exchange. If the copyright holder hasn't registered with Sound Exchange, Sound Exchange holds the royalties.

In other words, in the case of an artist streaming his own music, if said artist hasn't registered a contract with himself for streaming rights with Sound Exchange, then Sound Exchange will come after him for royalties.

I don't buy the "all you have to do is register" BS. Sorry, I shouldn't be required under threat of legal force to register anything with anyone to make available to others music I wrote, performed, and recorded. Not if the First Amendment has any meaning left whatsoever. If nobody stands against this crap, it surely will lose even the cursory and unequal acknowledgement.it receives now.

Strat

Re:A sucker born every minute (5, Insightful)

surgen (1145449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907426)

This is not about "old media", this is about knowing that the person you contract with to provide a service is actually providing you that service (in this case license rights).

Re:A sucker born every minute (5, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908214)

SoundExhange is not old media.

SoundExchange is a non-profit corporation that collects and distributes the statutory royalties for performances in new media:

- Digital cable and satellite television services (Music Choice and Muzak)
- Non-interactive 'webcasters" (including original programmers and retransmissions of FCC-licensed radio stations by aggregators)
- Satellite radio services.

The split looks like this:

50% to the sound recording copyright owmer.
45% to the featured artist. (which can be a group or ensemble)
5% to non-featured artists.

The payout to date: $614 million.

To about 46,000* registered performers and 6,000 SCROs - an SCRO can be an artist owned "label," of course.

Registration is free, "membership" is free, but membership is not required. SoundExchange [soundexchange.com]

____

* In a population of 300 million, this may give you some notion of what it takes to become a professional musician with significant national exposure.

Re:A sucker born every minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35908668)

SoundExchange is a non-profit corporation that collects and distributes the statutory royalties for performances in new media:

We hope that is true. Some thought SWCast was also distributing.

You miss the point (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909300)

The reason that SoundExchange exists is because Old Media lobbied congress to make New Media prohibitively expensive. SoundExchange is the gatekeeper preventing New Media from having the impact it would otherwise, while the same restrictions don't apply to Old Media.

Re:A sucker born every minute (1)

Agent.Nihilist (1228864) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909372)

Sound Exchange doesn't just collect for members, they collect royalties for non-members as well.
AKA even if you play only PD and CC licensed music, you still have to pay Sound Exchange royalties.

Re:A sucker born every minute (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911130)

Not true. They do not collect for music under which an existing license agreement exists. That means that CC-licensed music does not require any payment through Sound Exchange. If the author is a member, it falls under this clause:

SoundExchange membership is on a nonexclusive basis. This means that you are free to direct license a webcaster or other digital music service provider in addition to our representation of your catalog.

Creative Commons licensing constitutes a direct license, provided that the webcaster meets the terms of that license. For nonmembers, it just falls outside their scope entirely.

Same goes for public domain music if both the work and the recording are in the public domain. However, most of the time, the recordings themselves are still under copyright, and for web broadcasting, that means that the artists get some portion of royalties. (This has historically not been the case for over-the-air broadcast, IIRC.)

Re:A sucker born every minute (1)

Risen888 (306092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35914564)

So they're a gatekeeper for...Old Media? Well color me not corrected.

Re:A sucker born every minute (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908238)

In the meantime, SWCast radio stations suffer after paying to legally broadcast.

They *THOUGHT* they where paying to legally broadcast. But the facts are that SWcast was not passing on the cash to the licencing authority. In fact they had not made any payments since 2005.

So, basically, SWcast is what's know as a SCAM.

This has very little - if anything - to do with the Big Bad Old Media, and everything to do with a rip-off artist in Champagne, Illinois.

Err no (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907378)

Apparently SoundExchange has a new president, and this might be a factor in acting on several years of missing payments. In the meantime, SWCast radio stations suffer after paying to legally broadcast.

No, they weren't paying to legally broadcast. Yes they were paying SWCast, but since SWCast wasn't paying their fees, they had no license, and as such they shouldn't have been telling their clients everything is ok.

Re:Err no (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907438)

The closest analogy I can think of is someplace being an Exchange hosted provider, not paying Microsoft for use of any of their software, then getting shut down by the BSA.

If I were one of SWCast's customers, I'd be pretty pissed.

Re:Err no (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907542)

I didn't know Microsoft contracted with the Boy Scouts of America to do copyright enforcement. Those corporate tentacles go everywhere, don't they?

Re:Err no (0)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907590)

Apparently, you have never dealt with the top people at either BSA. Both are primarily interested in money.

Re:Err no (3, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907820)

No, they weren't paying to legally broadcast.

And that's sooo different to SoundExchange failing to pay artists because it "can't find them"! [p2pnet.net]

Err Yes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909694)

Yes, after all p2pnet is the RELIABLE SOURCE when it comes to people who don't believe in IP copyright.

Re:Err Yes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911958)

I wasn't sure if incisive sarcasm should be modded Insightful or Funny. So I went with Funny.
~KingAlanI

Oh please... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909736)

Basically your linked "story" says that because SoundExchange doesn't have contact information for a bunch of marginal little know and little played "artists", they are somehow evil?

If you are an "artist" and you are seeking your payments, perhaps YOU should contact SoundExchange with your here-to unknown contact info?

Re:Oh please... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911080)

Basically your linked "story" says that because SoundExchange doesn't have contact information for a bunch of marginal little know and little played "artists", they are somehow evil?

If you read some of the other stories about SoundExchange, you will see that many of the artists that Sound Exchange could not find were easily found by people who actually tried. Meanwhile SoundExchange has millions of dollars in its accounts that should be paid to these "marginal" artists.

Re:Err no (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911174)

Perhaps doubters will find SoundExchange's own list of unpaid artists [soundexchange.com] more convincing.

Piracy (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907544)

Within the last hour or so, it appears that the swcast.net web site has completely been taken down, and people that attempt to log on to swcast.net are now directed to the SOundexchange web site.

So, if you don't pay the ransom to the RIAA they hijack your website? And they have the nerve to call other people pirates?

Re:Piracy (4, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907572)

No it is far closer to say that if you need to pay taxes and instead you pay a guy on the streetcorner that says he will take care of everything for you... well, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

At the very least some people should have checked up on what was going on. Apparently, the people paying SWCast didn't check to see that they were actually legitimate. They were not, so anyone that trusted them got screwed.

Re:Piracy (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908034)

When did the MAFIAA get the force of law?
Sound Exchange is a private company, they even collect for artists who they never pay and have never contacted or been contacted by.

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35908398)

When they bought the law.

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909526)

When did the MAFIAA get the force of law?

Since Title 17 [cornell.edu] , specifically Chapter 5 [cornell.edu] , of the US Code, which is in turn authorized by Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the US Constitution.

Not saying you have to like it, just that it really is there in the law.

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35909214)

Well some of us did try to check before signing up, but neither the RIAA nor SoundExchange provide such a list, they just point you to the US Copyright Website ( http://www.copyright.gov/licensing/sec_112.html ) to verify if the entity have filed a Notice of Use of Sound Recordings. In there you can see that SWCast.net filed and was in the March 2011 version of that list: http://www.copyright.gov/licensing/114_list.pdf (SWCast.net is number 1933).

Maybe if Sound Exchange provided a list of Authorized Joint Performance Lincesees we wouldn't be in this mess, and probably more options would become available for small webcasters. The only lists that provide such information are not official but a new-webcaster would take them as good, since they are usually very know in the webcasting circles, such as http://www.spacialnet.com/broadcasters/licensing.html and http://radioo.org/#leg both of which STILL lists SWCast as a licensing organization. with not even a notice of where to verify compliance.

This issue sucks at all levels because there's nothing that could have been done by SWCast customers to avoid it. Now we are facing one of three options, close down streaming; go BROKE paying and reporting royalties directly (minimum licenses start at $500 for SoundExchange + $300 for BMI,+$300 for ASCAP, + about $500 for SESAC, thats about $1,600 minimum per year - and most of us just operate with out-of-pocket money); or pay live365 or loudcaster for their overcharged stream hosting, since Loudcity is at full capacity and cannot take new users with their own stream host provider.

Looks like we need a new Joint License Provider......... AND SOUND EXCHANGE NEEDS TO PROVIDE A LIST OF COMPLIANT PROVIDERS!

Re:Piracy (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911202)

mod parent up

evils of sound exchange (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907602)

when RIAA was going after Pandora, I remember reading about sound exchange, on how they collect royalty irregardless whether they have any rights to collect the royalty at all. Sound exchange claims they hold in escrow money collected for artist they do not have right to collect for. I feel that for that alone they should be sued to the ground for restraint of trade. They are interposing them selves on behalf of third parties that never wanted them to interpose in the first place.

Re:evils of sound exchange (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909406)

I remember reading about sound exchange, on how they collect royalty irregardless whether they have any rights to collect the royalty at all.

You remember wrong.

The Library of Congress, as an agent of the Congress of the United States, has authorized SoundExchange as the only group that can administer government sound recording licenses.

General Questions [soundexchange.com]

You do not have to a member of SoundExhange to collect your royalties. You only have to register. Registration and membership are both free.

It is a little more compex for the (unlogged) session player - SoundExchange pays out his share to AFTRA and AFM for distribution.

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35907614)

Somebody has to be making a buck, and that somebody usually needs the government to threaten people in order to make it happen.

I understand that people need to make money, but didn't the Internet pretty much make this kind of thing obsolete? Face it, folks, it's a brave new world, and no matter how much you'd like to, you CAN NOT CONTROL THE INFORMATION YOU PRODUCE. You can try, and you might even succeed enough to get people thrown into the rape-rooms of federal prison, but you're never going to stop "illegal" distribution of copyrighted material, so deal with it and change your strategy to match the REALITY of the world you ACTUALLY live in rather than relying on the state to use violence against people who didn't file the right paperwork and/or pay the right people.

Bypassing SoundExchange? (1)

gclef (96311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907826)

So, I'm curious: Is there any organization that does direct label->broadcaster agreements (or acting as a clearinghouse for those sorts of agreements)? I believe (though IANAL) that a direct contract between a label & a broadcaster for a given netcasting rate would bypass the need to pay SoundExchange (since you wouldn't be relying on the compulsory license). Is there any organization doing that sort of contract work out in the wild net?

Holding down the fort? (1)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | more than 3 years ago | (#35907960)

From the SoundExchange posting: "We’re sorry that SWCast chose not to comply with the law, and we hope SWCast fans will find another (legal) provider by which to enjoy the tracks we all love. Meanwhile, we’ll be holding down the fort here..."

Holding down the fort? Excuse me? Are these guys actually invoking a metaphor of isolation and danger? Please. These guys have been sitting on their butts and drinking cappuccinos, or something. Why should it take six years to notice that SWcast.net has not been paying?

Oh wait, they say they have been "reaching out" to SWcast.net. Oh, if ONLY they have not been sipping their delicate beverages, then they could have reached a little bit further, or maybe gotten off their butts sooner.

They're lame.

Concerned over the word "license" (2)

Openstandards.net (614258) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908050)

I keep hearing the word license used more and more to copyrighted works. I remember it beginning with software, which was a word that we distinguished as applying to the executable binaries, not the source code. This distinction remained for a long time, justifying the contractual relationship with using software that does not apply to reading books. Now, we hear licensing all the time to copyrighted works. This is creating an image that the owner of the copyright can unilaterally create a contractual relationship tied to what happens after the works are copied. In the context of music, is it justifiable to refer to these fees as a form of licensing? Should we be pushing back on the use of the term "licensing"?

Re:Concerned over the word "license" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35908194)

Statutory license under the US copyright act is not related in any way to contract law. It is, if anything, a restriction of rights to the rights holder granting anyone who wishes to use the copyrighted material a license PROVIDED that they are in compliance with the terms. Which SWCast clearly were not.

So, you can push back, but against what?

Re:Concerned over the word "license" (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909262)

I keep hearing the word license used more and more to copyrighted works.

No offense, but that speaks more to your inexperience or lack of knowledge than any change in how business is being or has been done. Nothing particular has changed, licenses with regards to IP have been around a long, long time.

Racketeers (2)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908132)

nobody should be playing ball w/soundexchange. it's a racket, pure and simple. 40,000 internet radio stations were silenced overnight when these new broadcasting fees, abetted congress, aimed only at and deliberately hobbling internet radio, kicked in a decade ago.

no station is "thriving" today despite claims by se to the contrary, unless they use streaming as a loss leader for other profitable ventures.

between soundexchange and now data caps what could have been a new, exciting and truly democratic broadcasting medium where anyone could stream content to anywhere, has been throttled to near asphyxiation.

internet broadcasters should simply shut down and walk away until congress and the music industry realize that the promotional value of streaming - like ota broadcasting - far outweighs any limited fees that accrue from performance royalties.

- js.

Re:Racketeers (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908526)

nobody should be playing ball w/soundexchange.

Perhaps not, but guess what? That's how it (legally) works.
br>And SoundExchange has nothing at all to do with SWCast running a scam operation where they took money for services they were not actually providing.

Re:Racketeers (1)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35909662)

lol, you mean in addition to the scam being perpetrated by soundexchange. the amount of collected royalties vs. those distributed to performers is of course lopsided. but we all knew that going in didn't we?

btw, last i looked extraordinary rendition was legal too. depressing yes, but it doesn't make it right or even particularly noteworthy. .

- js.

Re:Racketeers (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910186)

No, that's not what I mean.

YOU are a "user", and you want everything for free. The people that actually make, produce, and own music actually want to be paid for their work.

Re:Racketeers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910896)

I make music, and I give it away for free.

I resent someone telling me I can't stream my own work from my own site without giving them money. How is this any different from a protection racket?

Re:Racketeers (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911824)

I resent someone telling me I can't stream my own work from my own site without giving them money.

I would resent somone putting a toll both on my driveway but neither of these things are actually happening.

Re:Racketeers (1)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912004)

"No, that's not what I mean. YOU are a 'user', and you want everything for free. The people that actually make, produce, and own music actually want to be paid for their work."

didn't you get paid for your work already, or do you believe you're someone who is entitled to be paid over and over for a job done once?

but you know what? i'm digressing. the scam is this: the record industry cannot survive without the giant promotional juggernaut that is free air and streamplay. it has been ever thus. if i need to give you a history lesson on this point you're in the wrong thread, but you convinced congress otherwise and to washington's decade long shame they bought it and gave you a law.

so then, if the people who want to get paid for their "work" depend on free airplay, and they do, don't blame the stations whose playlists are bankrolling "the people that actually make, produce, and own music" if the dj/owners resent that in return for this incredible sales tool - that far outweighs any potential royalty streams - they nevertheless get saddled with additional royalty costs that make it essentially impossible to stream profitably.

i humbly suggest that stations and internet sites stop playing and streaming music entirely until record sales flatline, recording artists go bust and cooler heads prevail. then we can go back to composer-only royalties for airplay and stations can once again make enough money that they don't have to beg listeners for handouts, and most importantly for you, record sales can increase and spoiled artists can once again go back to something resembling normalcy, which basically consists of whining about how crappy labels are for not promoting them enough with radio airplay or stream-throughs like their label mates in heavy rotation who are enjoying such healthy sales no dodgy exchange society could ever make up for it, shutdown notices or jail threats not withstanding.

i mean seriously, listening to grasping artists pine for both airplay and performance royalties is like listening to petty union arguments in the 1950s that performers should paid twice as much for new stereo records because early adopters were listening through two speakers.

the stench of entitlement and the disconnect of certain performers from the realities of the market is never ending and nausea inducing.

- js.

Re:Racketeers (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910270)

The amount of royalties for simply playing an artist's work is quite equitable.

The split looks like this:

50% to the sound recording copyright owmer.
45% to the featured artist. (which can be a group or ensemble)
5% to non-featured artists.

Perhaps the ratio could be more in favor of the artist, but 45% is *NOT* bad at all.

Re:Racketeers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910930)

So this is after Sound Exchanges cut, Right?
How much do they take off the top?
!00% of what they don't take is distributed, but what do they take?

Re:Racketeers (1)

sorcerykid (1071850) | more than 3 years ago | (#35913046)

I guess those numbers would mean something if the revenue streams were there.

Yet for some reason, in this country only Webcasters (and cable and satellite to a much lesser extent of course) remunerate the recording artists while every other commercial user is free and clear of paying paying ANY royalties for sound recordings played. Terrestrial radio? Nope. Nightclubs and Bars? Nothing. Amusement parks? Nada. Music on hold? Don't even think it.

Seems there could be an awful lot of other sources of revenue for rights holders, but here in the U.S. we only care about hammering the small guys. The Internet radio business model is hardly lucrative except for a select few. Even satellite and cable, which does have to pay royalties to SX, enjoys a sweet deal in comparison to those businesses that derive all their revenue from digital broadcasting.

Copyright law in this country pretty messed up if you ask me. You theoretically could get a lot of money, but instead you make license fees inordinately high for one very niche and still nascent industry with limited income, and every time you meet at the bargaining table (i.e. CRB or formerly CARP), you refuse any offers and forestall any negotiation unless your demands are met. Isn't that known as extortion?

An Alternative (2)

DERoss (1919496) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908728)

"Pop" music is as ephemeral as a mayfly -- top 10 today and forgotten tomorrow. Listen instead to classical music. While recent performances might be under copyright, the music itself is no longer protected. By "classical music", I mean not only Bach and Beethoven but also music that was popular 50-100 years ago and is still popular. Streaming broadcasts of such music over the Internet do not seem impacted by the contention between SWCast.net and SoundExchange.

By the way, see what I have to say about current copyright laws at the top of [http://www.rossde.com/music.html].

http://forums.swcast.net/ (1)

RLU486983 (1792220) | more than 3 years ago | (#35908992)

Thank you for visiting SWCast Network
We are experiencing technical difficulties at this time. Please be patient as we work to resolve the problem.

They must be getting hammered.

Get in through the backdoor (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910636)

I just started a small online radio station using Icecast. I'm broadcasting all local, unsigned rock bands in my area. This way, I don't have to pay any protection^W royalty fees to the RIAA and friends. It also helps nurture my local music scene. =)

Re:Get in through the backdoor (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911262)

It doesn't matter if they're unsigned, SoundExchange doesn't have an option for not collecting royalties and as the only register EVERYONE is represented by them. I've wondered why someone hasn't started another non-profit registry for CC licensed music, since the framework which created SoundExchange allows for that. It would have to get approved by the Library of Congress, and there are a few requirements, but it's doable. Note that SoundExchange does offer an opt-out for Polka [wired.com] .

Useless (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910642)

Internet broadcasters will just keep splitting into smaller an smaller groups, getting less attention and harder to track and regulate. Many local bands and singers are not members of these groups and the payout to the labels and recording organizations. The royalties paid in by broadcasters do not go to these bands and its just a waste. As long as some basic rules are followed and the site does not make a profit, there is no reason why broadcasters should be paying these fees.

Theft doesn't pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911166)

Don't steal, and things like this won't happen. I know "I don't want to pay for it, so I'll take it without paying" is the Slashdot mantra, but seriously.

-1 unconventional

Re:Theft doesn't pay (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911798)

Theft doesn't pay? Tell the criminals in congress that. Tell the *AA that..

It does pay, for them.

Is OK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911286)

Is OK, Bra...KAPA is still playing. Mahalo

blah blah blah overseas blah blah blah (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911902)

I take it that the SoundExchange "jurisdiction" does not extend past U. S. borders?

Webcasters: I can recommend several good low-end VPS providers with terabyte+ bandwidth limits that are not located in the "United States of Getting All Up In Yo Pocket".

Or you can check out lowendbox.

KryKey.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35914520)

KryKey is a free broadcasting service located outside the USA - 320K streaming, unlimited listeners, live talk, multiple libraries, dj 2 listener talk, plug in external sound source for live shows, flash based, and more

soundexchange should be renamed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35915562)

"catfish". they are bottom feeders, sucking the dregs out of a failed business model. and i'm off to find a good russian ambient radio station.

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