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Radio Royalty Legislation Described As 'RIAA Bailout'

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the some-business-deserve-to-die dept.

Music 272

An anonymous reader tips an article at TechDirt about draft legislation from Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) that would dramatically increase the music royalty fees for cable and satellite radio to put them at the same level as internet radio streaming. TechDirt calls this the 'RIAA Bailout Act of 2012' and says the RIAA has been pursuing similar legislation to increase royalty rates for terrestrial radio as well. "As it stands now, the rates are so damaging that Pandora — the top player in the space — has made it clear it may never be profitable. Yes, never. Nadler's bill would effectively make sure that no one else in that market would be profitable either. The end result? Many of these services don't exist or never get started. That would actually mean fewer services, fewer listeners and lower royalties. It's almost as if he has no concept of price elasticity. Lower prices can create higher total income. Also, the idea that any particular Congressional Rep. should be (effectively) determining what the "fair" price is for anything is, well, horrifying. "

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272 comments

Don't Understand (5, Insightful)

rwise2112 (648849) | about 2 years ago | (#41109017)

Seems they (the RIAA) would rather take nothing, and blame it on piracy, than take something!

Re:Don't Understand (5, Interesting)

Samalie (1016193) | about 2 years ago | (#41109135)

Actually, I'd say it is closer to...the RIAA would rather destroy the entire recording industry than modify their business model from that which made them all filthy rich until the last decade or so.

They've fucking lost it. They have absolutly no comprehension or understanding that they don't mean shit anymore. Nobody NEEDS the RIAA or the major labels anymore. Anyone with a few thousand can create a damned good recording studio, cut an album, release it online independently (and to streaming sites), thereby cutting the RIAA entirely out of the equation.

But at the heart, you are correct...the RIAA says a song has a value of x. The world says the same song has a value of x/50. THe RIAA has decided that if they can't get x, they don't want anything.

Clearance; promotion (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109223)

Anyone with a few thousand can create a damned good recording studio, cut an album

How should someone who writes and records an album verify that the songs he wrote don't accidentally infringe a third party's copyright?

release it online independently (and to streaming sites)

How should they promote it to listeners who aren't already streaming music in their vehicles? These listeners use FM radio because they don't already have a sufficiently expensive data plan or they aren't aware of the streaming sites.

Re:Clearance; promotion (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41109353)

How should someone who writes and records an album verify that the songs he wrote don't accidentally infringe a third party's copyright?

Write original material?

How should they promote it to listeners who aren't already streaming music in their vehicles? These listeners use FM radio because they don't already have a sufficiently expensive data plan or they aren't aware of the streaming sites.

Or, you know, maybe they like radio. Some people actually do.

Re:Clearance; promotion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109445)

"Write original material?"

Yeah, that's what George Harrison thought he was doing when he wrote "My Sweet Lord". Why don't you go look up how that turned out for him ...

Re:Clearance; promotion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109827)

Or, you know, maybe they like radio. Some people actually do.

I don't like radio, I'm just too cheap to install an mp3 player in my car and too lazy to change out cds
I also believe the acoustics in my car are why my singing sucks, and that is why I can't just create my own music on the road.

Re:Clearance; promotion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109417)

Copyright is not a patent.

How is copyright not a patent? (0)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109571)

What essential difference between copyright and patent are you thinking of? If it's the requirement that the alleged infringer have had access to the plaintiff's work, then radio play creates a presumption of access.

Re:Clearance; promotion (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41109465)

How should someone who writes and records an album verify that the songs he wrote don't accidentally infringe a third party's copyright?

This word "write". I don't think it means what you think it means...

Please be more specific (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109627)

Please be more specific than a quotation from the film The Princess Bride. If I write a song, what steps should I take to ensure that I didn't accidentally write a song that is substantially similar to an existing song?

Re:Please be more specific (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 2 years ago | (#41109835)

Simple, just don't use these chords in whatever key you are playing in: I-IV-VI-IV

Oh, and don't think you can rearrange it to VI-IV-I-V either. That's taken, too.

Re:Please be more specific (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109871)

You should take no steps to do so.

Re:Please be more specific (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109947)

Copyrights are not patents. It is perfectly legal for a song that you write to be identical to an existing song. The only requirement is that you create the song independently and not copy it. Legally, there may be an issue of demonstrating that you did not copy it, which is normally accomplished by documenting the process by which the song was created.

Re:Clearance; promotion (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 2 years ago | (#41109705)

How should someone who writes and records an album verify that the songs he wrote don't accidentally infringe a third party's copyright?

Nobody verifies this under the present system, so an individual releasing stuff isn't any different.

How should they promote it to listeners who aren't already streaming music in their vehicles? These listeners use FM radio because they don't already have a sufficiently expensive data plan or they aren't aware of the streaming sites.

Believe it or not, people hear music in places other than their cars.

Word of mouth, YouTube, free song downloads, send promo CDs to college and independent radio stations, set up accounts with the various social networks, opening for other bands... there are lots of ways to get your music in front of people. If you're good, you'll build a fan base and that fan base is the only thing you absolutely have to have to make a career out of music.

Re:Clearance; promotion (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109937)

Nobody verifies this under the present system, so an individual releasing stuff isn't any different.

Still, what steps should an individual take to minimize liability?

Believe it or not, people hear music in places other than their cars.

Yeah, like restaurants and retail establishments, which play either the radio or a Muzak-like stream.

In any case, people who listen to music on MP3 players are listening to music that they've bought because they've heard it elsewhere. Now what "elsewhere" are you talking about? I was under the impression that in order to listen to Internet radio without a cellular data plan, you had to be sitting in front of your computer. You mentioned "YouTube, free song downloads", but in such cases, how do listeners become aware that a particular music video exists or particular free song downloads exist?"

Re:Clearance; promotion (0)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#41109861)

I don't stream music in my vehicle because it is not worth the hassle. Older vehicles limit you greatly, and an integrated radio/CD/info system like the Saab NG900s makes replacing the radio both nontrivial and dissatisfying in many ways. Yes, a cassette adapter and bluethooth plugin would solve it, but I'm not interested, and Pandora, for one, does not do a good enough job with the channels I crate to make it worth it. Plus I have a huge library already. I just need a better shuffler, and another 300GB on my phone to carry it around. I take stuff off and put stuff on weekly to shake it up.

Oh, and it is a chore - a genuine chore - to find anything new that is interesting. Pop is dead, hip-hop is largely offensive, rap is worse, what passes for rock is not the least inventive. I can listen to Katy Perry only so long, and I can find lots of artists that offer me one or two tracks I can bear to hear twice, but nothing like a whole disc worh of good marterial. I've been rediscovering The Who, but listening to that in a vehicle is a discrace - the noise floor means I miss so much beauty, and tney did such great work early on. Yes, I sample high or go lossless, hence the space crunch.

Lots of reasons to be underwhelmed with music these days.

Re:Don't Understand (2)

plover (150551) | about 2 years ago | (#41109487)

But at the heart, you are correct...the RIAA says a song has a value of x. The world says the same song has a value of x/50. THe RIAA has decided that if they can't get x, they don't want anything.

No, the RIAA has decided to settle for .02*x in the hopes that it might stay at .03x or long enough to snort a few more grams of coke.

Re:Don't Understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109679)

Have you created a studio, cut an album, and released it, and was it a success?

If not, then why would we think you have any clue as to what you're talking about?

So many experts here. So many successful artists and musicians!

Re:Don't Understand (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | about 2 years ago | (#41109933)

Actually, I'd say it is closer to...the RIAA would rather destroy the entire recording industry than modify their business model from that which made them all filthy rich until the last decade or so.

They've fucking lost it. They have absolutly no comprehension or understanding that they don't mean shit anymore. Nobody NEEDS the RIAA or the major labels anymore. Anyone with a few thousand can create a damned good recording studio, cut an album, release it online independently (and to streaming sites), thereby cutting the RIAA entirely out of the equation.

But at the heart, you are correct...the RIAA says a song has a value of x. The world says the same song has a value of x/50. THe RIAA has decided that if they can't get x, they don't want anything.

Works for me. I've been spending more and more on indie's. If the RIAA wants to go bankrupt I'm sure they will get that bailout that politicians seem to enjoy pushing these days.

Seems pretty damn insane to me.

Re:Don't Understand (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109145)

Exactly. There's a lot of companies like that. The RIAA, MPAA, Harmony Gold, etc don't like customers, they just want to sue people. It helps that they plan on making laws to force you to pay anyway, regardless of whether or not you listen to music

Re:Don't Understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109367)

Exactly. There's a lot of companies like that. The RIAA, MPAA, Harmony Gold, etc don't like customers, they just want to sue people. It helps that they plan on making laws to force you to pay anyway, regardless of whether or not you listen to music

Oh man, you cited Harmony Gold. The pariah of the anime world.
If I had mods points I'd give them all to you.

Re:Don't Understand (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41109409)

If you look at history, it seems that big industries that are dying out all fit into a similar pattern.

As usual, we look like the Gilded age years when the fatcats always got exactly everything they wanted from congress. The Gilded age, of course, led straight to the great depression.

Re:Don't Understand (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41109511)

FTA: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) released a discussion draft of a bill Monday that would increase compensation for recording artists^W^W record company executives.

FTFT.

and your point is? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109029)

the government we currently have wants to control everything. 'spread the wealth around' i think is the catch-phrase

Re:and your point is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109073)

Start listening to some facts, stop listening to Limbaugh, and take your mind back.

Re:and your point is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109333)

never listen to limbaugh, except when i need a good laugh

Re:and your point is? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109083)

The musicians didn't write that song.

Re:and your point is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109563)

I'm so glad you used this argument. It makes it so easy to discount you as an idiot.

It's telling that the entire GOP convention is going to use poor argument based on an out of context quote to use as their convention theme. It kind of tells you what the entire campaign is about: making shit up because they have nothin'.

Re:and your point is? (4, Insightful)

dnahelicase (1594971) | about 2 years ago | (#41109095)

the government we currently have wants to control everything. 'spread the wealth around' i think is the catch-phrase

This would be the opposite. This is "concentrate the wealth and make sure it doesn't get into any new hands"

Re:and your point is? (1, Offtopic)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 2 years ago | (#41109479)

Yep. You have exposed a great example of human nature: ignore critical thinking and interpret any new information as supportive of an existing belief.

Re:and your point is? (1)

Gripp (1969738) | about 2 years ago | (#41109521)

I think you've got something backwards. This would accomplish the opposite. Keeping the money in the hands of a dated model that doesn't work rather than allowing it to be "spread around" via new business models.

Re:and your point is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109849)

the government we currently have wants to control everything.

99% of voters demand that government control everything. If you don't like it, start talking to them, and persuade them to vote differently. We can defeat the Republicrats; the problem is that we don't want to. Prediction: Obama/Romney win with 99% of popular vote and 100% of electoral vote.

Fuck em (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109055)

I need a bailout. What about the American people? The national debt passed 16 trillion recently.

Re:Fuck em (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41109535)

Yeah, who do I vote for so the people get a "bailout"? Surely there's a politician out there with enough balls to propose it.

Hint: You could be the next president...just sayin'.

Re:Fuck em (1)

miltonw (892065) | about 2 years ago | (#41109711)

Umm... That's already the way things are. If you join a union or run a bank or connect up with any group that throws money at politicians, you will get your "bailout". That's the way it works.

For the rest of us, not so much.

On Priorities and Strategy (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41109071)

Nadler's bill would effectively make sure that no one else in that market would be profitable either. The end result? Many of these services don't exist or never get started.

I think that's quite the desired effect by the RIAA, to repress technologies and services. This is a deep rooted mentality that has been "proven" in their eyes by cassette tapes (remember when people were duping records and recording radio plays and that was destroying everything?) and Napster and Bittorrent -- all new technologies that they attribute with the decline of their iron grip on their "consumers." Internet radio is just the latest demon and, of course, if their profits slide it will be the new scapegoat. The article notices this as well:

“Congressman Nadler’s discussion draft would only perpetuate this hypocrisy and worsen an already flawed legislative mistake that is discriminating against new technology and hampering innovation,"

I do slightly object to this statement:

t's almost as if he has no concept of price elasticity. Lower prices can create higher total income.

No, I disagree with you there. I think services like Amazon and iTunes have shown them this and they reject that concept anyway. They built up their empires by reducing the diversity of music and creating a single song that everyone had to have. Radio jockeys play it 24/7, the Billboard Top 100 tells you what it is and it's basically slammed down your throat everywhere. This strategy payed off very well for them for quite some time. They wanted to reduce the amount of music you wanted or desired and price it out at $18 for the album. Everybody had to buy it and that's why you can pick up New Kids on the Block or Brittany Spears albums at your local thrift store for pennies now. And that's the best way the RIAA could have it since everyone got sick of that music, burned out on it and had to have the next $18 album that they were told to buy. Since everyone had to buy it that was $18 * tons of money.

Now new technology comes along and offers a more diverse music repertoire and the possibility of buying that single song and *GASP* radio jockeys that aren't yoked into playing the same goddamn song over and over again. And this frightens the music executives. They know about price elasticity, they just don't want the profits they should be making and instead wish to return to a simpler time when they told you what to pay and everyone paid that because there was no other option and society was shoving it down their throats. Lower prices CAN create higher profits but the way the RIAA has been running the show means it probably will not.

Re:On Priorities and Strategy (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#41109161)

Is it possible to set up an alternative RIAA? Trade group monopoly must be broken.

Re:On Priorities and Strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109255)

Not until you starve off the companies to the point they figure out that they've been footgunning themselves with this game they're playing.

Easiest way is to support unsigned acts- which as often as not are actually better than the signed ones.

Accidental infringement (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109315)

Is it possible to set up an alternative RIAA?

Not as long as the music publishers affiliated with the major record labels threaten to sue people who write their own songs for copyright infringement on the grounds that too much of a melody was accidentally copied. See, for example, Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music and Three Boys Music v. Michael Bolton.

do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109931)

we get and form the NON label association and have people put forward a 5$ a month indemnity fee, this then gets us a lawyer for everyone that will fight them right back

use the same thing , you sue them for slander and defamation of character and liable etc, as well as any left overs we can use to aid lobby groups in your nations to help make life better and make the public domain healthier.

Re:On Priorities and Strategy (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41109489)

Is it possible to set up an alternative RIAA?

Maybe not the entire RIAA, but there are record labels which aren't members.

Fat Wreck Chords for example.

Trade group monopoly must be broken.

That would take a court ruling, legislation, or a freakin' miracle. These are the guys writing the current copyright laws (and exporting them via ACTA etc) ... which means they're 'greasing the wheels' an awful lot, so the lawmakers aren't going to cut them off.

Somehow, an industry cartel is dictating terms to government and getting away with it. They want it entrenched in law in every country that they get tithed.

The Best Alternative Is No Massive Powerful Group (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41109583)

Is it possible to set up an alternative RIAA? Trade group monopoly must be broken.

Well, I'm not in the business but used to gig. After seeing people that should have some minor record deal being signed to littler labels like Afternoon Records or Asthmatic Kitty, it's my opinion that the best replacement for the RIAA is no replacement at all. The RIAA is restricting their member labels and being destructive "in the interests of their members" ... sometimes this is helpful but in the instance of online radio, it's quite the opposite. Meanwhile a lot of the smaller labels affiliated with the RIAA suffer while the top executives make millions [techdirt.com] . The way I see it, by setting up an alternative RIAA, you'll inevitably fall prey to that sort of bullshit. Like the best capitalistic systems, the music industry would be healthier if the labels competed with each other and actually desired exposure (which they do) like online radio and no single entity was acting as a self-appointed policeman to how that system worked. Then and only then would you see.

Here's an example, I just purchased Headlight's latest album on vinyl [polyvinylrecords.com] and minutes later I had downloaded the MP3s. I can list tons of non-RIAA labels that do this and you can go on Bandcamp and see a third party system doing this for labels and selfpublished artists (for example, here's the album I just bought [bandcamp.com] ). Now, from the RIAA point of view this is super bad. I just got TWO copies of an album for one price and on top of that you can stream that album right there for free, possibly forever. Oh my god, copyright violations! Now, if you were the RIAA or a replacement for the RIAA you would find yourself in the position of making a decision about this sort of sales tactic. And that's bad whether you weigh in one way or another. Fine, let Metallica or whoever else I don't care about put up a picture of their album and ask for $20 from their fans for it before even hearing it. They can do what they want. But you'll find that if you throw your lot in with RIAA, you won't be able to upload live videos of your own concerts to YouTube, you might have ads on your music videos and you'll be restricted by this umbrella. Furthermore, no matter how forgiving you are of your fan's misdeeds, the RIAA is not. And I think a replacement is a bad thing.

Frankly put the advent of the internet and digital distribution means that artists shouldn't have to depend on the RIAA or an RIAA replacement. They should exist in hundreds of different labels acting, innovating and competing on their own terms (diversity is a good thing).

Right now it feels like an exacerbated Pareto Law inside the music industry and it doesn't have to be that way. Your attention, your ears, your money and your support should be spread around and free of restricted influence by some massive entity.

Right now, there's music out there that you like that somebody somewhere is making. But if they're not on a label that's part of the RIAA, you're most likely never going to hear it. That's why internet radio stations are so important to upending the RIAA, self-published groups from Portland can be heard by Brooklynites and vice versa. That's why I think the RIAA is trying to impose arcane radio royalty fees.

Re:The Best Alternative Is No Massive Powerful Gro (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 2 years ago | (#41109823)

+1 for that. The only reason I can think of for setting up the alternative is so there is representation. The alternative will do not a lot really, just be a way for stating you're not RIAA.

you bet it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109785)

and combine that with a more open and free 3d model sci fi effects bunch and your ability to really do takes off
bryce7.1 FREE ( adobe audtion ( 400$) for sound animations) as i stated above.

WHO needs them....scare the hell out of 200000 actors and musicians and there lawyers ....and if you do profit make sure you donate locally to some charities like food banks and others and make sure you spend as much as you can into local stores....

SHOW the business community there is value in NOT having a strong aggressive long term copyright.
ONE could do mock ups of what you could do if you were allowed and yet sorry cant share or sell....

get a few local musicians to do sound works for your videos ,pay em beer money and then make em a website and put up a few songs and ....wella
gee its not hard and if you do this ill make a search engine for such ventures.....
chronoss
president
united hackers association

ive been saying since it began (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109639)

its about control and by that i mean repression of technology and culture and censorship.
THIS is a global thing we all need to unite behind and fight like mad .....this is our world not some rich prick lawyers and the fact copyright is NOT advancing the public domain and even one can say that its not allowing artists to create is a truth.

adobe audition is 400$
a pc that can use it is 200$
decent sound card added about 200$

  would argue don't worry about infringing others stuff as long as your not doing it blatantly ...
why not go get all that 17th century public domain and cut it to new things like guitars and change it up....
create a new industry one that starts off free and ends free or very cheap....
a stomp of a cdr is 1 penny now
i see they still want 29.95 in stores for new cdrs.
lets take the cash back from them and spend it in our local economies and make the earth a better place.
Creative people will find a way to create regardless of the restrictions and those that create these are going broke everyone....

i recently posted how almost all but one chain of movie theatres is going broke cause no one is actually going....
and the one that made money ...well it only made 47 million....from 5000 movie theatres....
and it isnt due to piracy its cause of your lawsuits and its cause of prices( 20$ for a pop n popcorn anyone?)
and for a sh!t Movie that i'd never again see nor wish i had subjected myself too.

being camerad in theatre ad spied on makes people feel creeped out and then you make already unstable people lose it and kill people ......

and i think im near a stage soon to move to a setting where im gonna show all of you the future......a future without control
( yea i borrowed a line form the matrix )

I see nothing wrong with this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109113)

These royalties go to the correct respective artists/labels based on the actual songs. The media middleman does not deserve any profit or credit, as it is not the middleman's work that the consumers actually want.

Any step towards killing the media middleman is a positive one as far as I'm concerned. Artists are like businesses - if you can't make a living off of your works then it's time to move on to something else.

I'm dead against arbitrary media levies, but that is not at all the same thing.

For the record, I do buy music, but only when I know the money is going to the actual artist. I like beatport and have little hesitation toward buying expensive concert tickets for artists I like.

Re:I see nothing wrong with this. (0)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 2 years ago | (#41109197)

These royalties go to the correct respective artists/labels based on the actual songs. The media middleman does not deserve any profit or credit, as it is not the middleman's work that the consumers actually want.

Oh to be young and naive.

Consumers want to find (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109289)

The media middleman does not deserve any profit or credit, as it is not the middleman's work that the consumers actually want.

Consumers want to be informed of what recorded music of at least competent quality has become available. It's the middleman's job to make the consumers aware of the work.

Re:Consumers want to find (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109341)

Judging by the number of times I've had to hear "Call Me Maybe" on the radio in the past week, they've been failing profoundly.

Re:Consumers want to find (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#41109845)

You mean advertising. Wow what a concept.

Re:I see nothing wrong with this. (1)

Ignacio (1465) | about 2 years ago | (#41109685)

Any step towards killing the media middleman is a positive one as far as I'm concerned.

The RIAA IS the middleman. Fail harder.

Awesome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109175)

I love watching greedy people try to imposeold business models on new technologies and systems.

It's like watching Bashar Al-assad (RIAA) cling to dictatorial power through Russian and Chinese influence (congress) while, American CIA Officers (no actual corresponding role in this analogy) funds "rebels, and definitely NOT terrorists" (file sharing and other new technology adherents) to disrupt a regime in the name (in my best George W. Bush impression) FREEDUM.

Re:Awesome (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41109469)

In every dying industry that made loads of money in its heyday, they're whining to Congress.

The correct action is to let them die out.

However, the most steady trait of corporate fat cats is they are all for the free market in public but are the first the whine about it when the market turns against them.

Never is a long time (4, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 2 years ago | (#41109177)

This isn't about the money, it's about control. If they can get a law that makes default royalities so high no-one can enter the business, they'd be overjoyed. Then, when everyone else is locked out of the business, they can buy up the failed businesses, and run their own monopoly services. They might not be extracting every last cent out of the music, but they, and only they would control it. (Artists and Listeners can take a hike)

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin... (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 2 years ago | (#41109199)

The more star systems will slip through your fingers. Or to put it in more terrestrial terms, no company, when hit with arbitrary regulation, will simply take it up the a$$. The newly regulated company will A) pass the cost on to the customer, B) lay people off, or C) go out of business. This is the same unintended consequence that stalks Net Neutrality. If you think a phone company like AT&T (which btw, has only a 3.67% profit margin) will simply continue to increase available bandwidth and quality of service because some government flunky forced them to handle everyone's pointless video chat traffic, think again. They will delay or stop service improvements or they will raise the rates for everyone. Don't believe me? Ever look at all the little persnickety fees on your bill? All those social-engineering mandates are listed there.

Still sucks if you are on Alderaan (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41109565)

Billions of people must die before the RIAA is defeated? Doesn't sound like much of a plan to me, one of the billions.

Re:The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109633)

"net neutrality" I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.

three fact free articles in the summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109215)

The businesses that would be subjected to the new rates say it would be super unfair, might put them out of business, etc.

No facts, no education on what the underlying issues are, just the usual Capitol Hill back-and-forth. What a waste of time.

BTW TechDirt specializes in this issue. Their (OK, his, Mr. Masnick) opinion is that all digital content should be completely free as in beer, and that people should make new business models selling services and physical products like concerts and t-shirts, and by selling ad space. Heck, it works for Tech Dirt and they employ what, three people. I'm sure it can work for the music industry too.

Why is Congress involved? (5, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#41109243)

Can somebody explain why the government is involved in this at all? Why are royalty fees simply negotiated between the licensor and licensee?

This is not like utilities, food, or health care where we need to prevent an oligarchy from profiteering by withholding necessities. If you do not agree to the fees, do not license the content.

Musical work vs. sound recording (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109441)

Can somebody explain why the government is involved in this at all? Why are royalty fees simply negotiated between the licensor and licensee?

There are two copyrights involved: copyright in the underlying musical work and copyright in the sound recording. Three different cover versions of "Yesterday" by three different recording artists, for example, are three different sound recordings of one musical work by one songwriter. As of right now, only the musical work is subject to royalties in all broadcast mediums, and these are already negotiated with BMI and ASCAP. The difference is that unlike webcasters, cable and satellite radio systems currently don't owe any extra royalties for performing a sound recording. It would take an act of Congress to make cable and satellite radio systems subject to royalties in the first place.

This is not like utilities, food, or health care where we need to prevent an oligarchy from profiteering by withholding necessities. If you do not agree to the fees, do not license the content.

Until you start suing people for writing competing songs that are vaguely similar.

Re:Musical work vs. sound recording (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109617)

It would take an act of Congress to make cable and satellite radio systems subject to royalties in the first place.

Wrong [cornell.edu] . See also 9.2, the "3 step test".

Sound recordings under Berne (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109817)

I don't see how the page you linked applies, for two reasons. First, I thought use by a U.S. resident of a work of a U.S. author was subject to U.S. law, not international treaties. Second, I thought sound recordings, as opposed to the underlying musical works, were not covered by the Berne Convention and thus needed a separate "phonogram treaty", especially in light of article 13 of the treaty you mentioned [cornell.edu] .

Re:Musical work vs. sound recording (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#41109663)

That does not explain why the broadcasters cannot negotiate fees with the rights holders (or, more conveniently, the representatives of a large group of rights holders (BMI, ASCAP)) instead of having Congress get involved.

They want to become rights holders (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109777)

Right now the record labels aren't rights holders for cable and satellite broadcasts of sound recordings of nondramatic musical works. They want to become rights holders.

Re:Why is Congress involved? (2)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about 2 years ago | (#41109759)

This is not like utilities, food, or health care where we need to prevent an oligarchy from profiteering by withholding necessities. If you do not agree to the fees, do not license the content.

The government does not care what industry it is invading. This is the problem: once you allow the government to violate the governing documents, you invalidate everything in the document, not just the one thing, and it becomes a government run by special interests./p?

Lower prices lead ot lower income (3, Insightful)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#41109247)

Lower prices can create higher total income.

This is true when the lower price generates more sales. This is not happening in the music world.

People are buying single tracks or tuning into Pandora instead of building up a collection of CDs. This benefits the consumer because it is much more efficient to listen to music this way.

i.e. the new cost structure of the internet means that the consumer reap most of the rewards of improved efficiency. I am not a friend of the RIAA but I do recognize that they have left the land of honey and milk for a barren desert.

Re:Lower prices lead ot lower income (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41109631)

You make it sound like singles and radio are a new thing.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Now You've Done It (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41109757)

left the land of honey and milk for a barren desert.

Smart move, a different ordering of those words would have put you in court with Capitol Records for copyright infringement [wikipedia.org] .

Unfortunately there were sentiments in your post that might have mirrored lyrics in Lynyrd Skynyrd's song "Workin' for MCA" off their double platinum album Second Helping. Warner Bros would also like to examine your use of the phrase "barren desert" and compare it to a song by the band America.

Your summons is in the mail.

Re:Lower prices lead ot lower income (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#41109887)

Ummm think again, selling individual songs has generated enormous profits for the recording industry. Even at 99 cents a song, they are making tons of money.

Experiment (5, Interesting)

carrier lost (222597) | about 2 years ago | (#41109253)

It would be fascinating if someone were to start an IndieGoGo fundraiser to "Buy a Senator"

Buy a senator and have him introduce a bill - something good, like forcing the cablecos to share their lines with competitors at cost, or legalizing marijuana for adults.

How much money would it take? $5 million? $10M, $20M before a senator publicly announces, "Okay, I'll do it. What law do you want introduced and give the cash to my campaign manager so he can get to work on spinning this"

Not such a crazy idea. (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about 2 years ago | (#41109547)

"Hey boys! Here's a big pile of money!" Someone will bite.

This might work if such a public fund were set up with complete transparency and controlled by a PAC or lobby. The money couldn't go directly to a senator but could be used to run political advertising that endorses the candidate.

Re:Experiment (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#41109587)

Actually, a lot less than that. If you watch Sicko, the healthcare industry contributions to politicians are all a lot lower than that - even for the President it was less than $1M ; and this is for an industry with a lot more money and power than the RIAA.

For $5M you could probably get yourself a whole committee.

Re:Experiment (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about 2 years ago | (#41109945)

Contributions to Obama's 2008 campaign:

Health Services/HMOs: $1.3 million [opensecrets.org]
Health professionals: $12.6 million [opensecrets.org]
Hospitals/Nursing Homes: $3.7 million [opensecrets.org]

This is a bad thing? (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | about 2 years ago | (#41109257)

It sounds to me like the music industry is bent on self-destruction, and this is something we should encourage. Let them price themselves out of existence. Once they're gone, maybe we can have some good music again.

The entitlement mentality (5, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about 2 years ago | (#41109279)

The entitlement mentality of the RIAA is astounding.

Radio has for decades played their songs as advertising. In the past record companies have gotten in trouble for paying radio stations to play certain music.

Now they want to have their cake and eat it too.

There is NO DIFFERENCE between the radio playing the song and a streaming service playing the song. It is still advertising for the record company. I have bought many songs after hearing them on a streaming service. I also already own many songs that play on streaming services I listen to. The record company being paid per play by streaming services is obnoxious crap.

I always smile when I think of how badly Apple and Amazon screwed over the record companies in providing access to digital versions of their music. They had the ability to build their own stores and they were idiotic enough to fail and it the process hand over billions to companies that laid the digital groundwork for them. True, record companies make money from Amazon and Apple, but Amazon and Apple make money off the record companies too _and_ they completely control the ecosystem.

I'm anxiously waiting for Apple, Amazon, and Google to start getting into the business of distributing artists songs just like they do for app developers. They could also use their promotional capabilities to drive sales for these artists. Sales where they make more money than selling what the record companies give them. When this happens the writing will be on the wall and the record companies will finally die the death they so deserve.

Re:The entitlement mentality (1)

Cali Thalen (627449) | about 2 years ago | (#41109789)

I'm anxiously waiting for Apple, Amazon, and Google to start getting into the business of distributing artists songs just like they do for app developers.

From your lips to God's ears...not so much that I care one way or the other who gets rich from the artists (and it will likely not be the artists...), but at least if those groups started mucking around in the RIAA's affairs more, the lawyers on BOTH sides would be well funded, instead of just one side.

OK I think I just figured out who would get rich from the artists in that scenario...but still, IMO if it's not the RIAA, I'm fine with it.

The article does not understand how things work (3, Insightful)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 2 years ago | (#41109285)

Nadler's bill would effectively make sure that no one else in that market would be profitable either. The end result? Many of these services don't exist or never get started. That would actually mean fewer services, fewer listeners and lower royalties. It's almost as if he has no concept of price elasticity. Lower prices can create higher total income.

This is too simplistic of a view. By limiting the number of stations that can play music you licence, you will make less money on the licencing, sure. But you also will have more control over what plays on the airwaves (or satallite waves, etc). By playing king-maker for what's hot and what's not you end up making far more money in the long run. The music industry has to compete with it's back catalog, all the way back to when music was first recorded. They need some way to get people to buy current music over the greatest of the past. They do this by controlling what becomes popular.

Re:The article does not understand how things work (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#41109921)

By what's being played on the radio? Wow welcome to the '80s....

purpose? (3, Insightful)

amoeba1911 (978485) | about 2 years ago | (#41109291)

I'm still not sure, what is RIAA's purpose? The artists compose and perform the music, the distributors (radio stations, iTunes, Google Play, Pandora and P2P etc) distribute that music to the masses. What is RIAA's role in this ecosystem? Where does RIAA fit?

Re:purpose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109447)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel

Promotion (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109525)

The artists compose and perform the music, the distributors (radio stations, iTunes, Google Play, Pandora and P2P etc) distribute that music to the masses. What is RIAA's role in this ecosystem?

Originally, the RIAA was formed to establish the "New Orthophonic" emphasis curve for vinyl records. Now, it boils down to promoting the music.

Re:purpose? (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#41109581)

I'm still not sure, what is RIAA's purpose? The artists compose and perform the music, the distributors (radio stations, iTunes, Google Play, Pandora and P2P etc) distribute that music to the masses. What is RIAA's role in this ecosystem? Where does RIAA fit?

Keeping the names of the large music publishers out of the news. For example, this story should really be:
EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner push for increased royalty rates
and other stories should be:
EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner sue poor student over music sharing.

Good Job Pirates (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109327)

You killed the legit services with your gimme-gimme attitudes.

No more music at all now, thanks to you faggots.

Re:Good Job RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109837)

You killed yourself with your gimme-gimme attitudes.

A lot less shitty music now, thanks to you faggots.

FTFY.

How can this be a law? (1)

pablo_max (626328) | about 2 years ago | (#41109387)

Was there not some kind of law already about the Governments ability to set the "market" price for goods and services? Something about free market or other.

Re:How can this be a law? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41109497)

"Free marketeers" are the first to whine to the government when things don't go their way.

The rest is silence (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41109393)

I honestly believe that they'd rather that the music just died, than live with the thought that somewhere out there, Alice might be passing Bob her iPod and saying "Hey, listen to this".

When the only music left is appropriately sub-licensed in commercials, TV and movies, they might stop. Maybe. But the concept of plain old music, that can be played right out there in the open and insinuate itself into just anyone's ears without them being forced to pay first? That makes them beat their hookers with horrific ferocity.

Great news for indie music! (3, Insightful)

mike449 (238450) | about 2 years ago | (#41109403)

When RIAA music becomes prohibitively expensive for radio stations, non-RIAA music will get more airplay and exposure.

Re:Great news for indie music! (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#41109635)

When RIAA music becomes prohibitively expensive for radio stations, non-RIAA music will get more airplay and exposure.

Remember that these are default rates. My expectation is that the RIAA member companies will offer reduced rates to the stations that play music that they want promoted. It's payola in another form.

"You copied our client's song" (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41109673)

Once "non-RIAA music ... get[s] more airplay and exposure", what stops music publishers affiliated with RIAA labels from suing non-RIAA artists on trumped-up charges of accidental copyright infringement?

more of the same (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41109413)

"pirates are being pirates? ok, let's punish the people who play by the rules even more" (thereby creating more pirates)

it's just like all that crap before you get to the actual movie on a dvd. who wants to sit through that? but i pirate the movie on the web, i don't get that bullshit

hey RIAA: your legislation and your controlling ways simply makes piracy more attractive

if instead of legislating how about you eat some humble pie by admitting that the fucking Internet happened, therefore meaning you need to change your economic model. therefore, you make people less likely to want to pirate

or let companies like Apple realize this for you, and erode your power further because now they take over your distribution powers, by having financial success with what music companies should have been doing. iTunes should have been your initiative, jackasses

your move, morons. why don't you aim for your pinkie toe this time

Maybe Never (1)

kubernet3s (1954672) | about 2 years ago | (#41109431)

that's right! You heard me! POSSIBLY NOT AT ALL

profit? (1)

SebNukem (188921) | about 2 years ago | (#41109437)

Music is the new marijuana, except that no one is going to make any illegal profits...

This is probably a good thing. (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about 2 years ago | (#41109483)

Businesses like Pandora were never powerful enough to take on the RIAA. But if radio stations will be affected then major contenders like Clear Channel will get into the ring.

Why doesn't Pandora go Indie exclusively? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#41109597)

If Pandora is really that big (I don't use it) why don't they just give the Recording industry the finger and be an outlet for Indies or Albums not under contract with the RIAA. They wouldn't have to pay the RIAA protection racket and probably work out a really reasonable revenue model for Indies and their groupies. I think I've heard enough Metallica and Nickelback to last me for a lifetime anyway. If I never hear their stuff again I won't miss it. Lots of Indie stuff is just as good if not better. Actually, some is way better.

Hit me baby one more time (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41109625)

WTF is the government doing sticking its nose into negotiations over payments for music royalties to begin with?

Aside from pandering to voters, that is.

Re:Hit me baby one more time (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#41109941)

Because it's their job. Perhaps you should take your head out of your ass and do some research before posting inane blather....

I hope this passes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109649)

I really hope this passes and gains support from everyone. Honestly.

It will end the RIAA. Pandora will become profitable by streaming unencumbered music.

What'd they bribe Nadler with? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41109781)

A cow?

Fat fuck.

That's the point (1)

Shagg (99693) | about 2 years ago | (#41109913)

The end result? Many of these services don't exist or never get started.

Yes, that's the whole point. The RIAA will gladly give up royalties if they can eliminate competition.

If they had their way (which they are), the only music you could hear would be from RIAA owned artists and the only way you could hear it was from RIAA owned distribution channels.

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