An anonymous reader writes "MP3newswire.net has an interesting commentary, inspired it seems by the woes of the Webcasting community. Basically they are saying that the RIAA is less concerned about piracy and more about the low barrier of entry into the online music business. For example, most slashdotters right now can start their own radio streams or distribute music files for next to nothing, just download the appropriate freeware and go. Through lawsuits and the DMCA the entertainment conglomerates are trying to make such acts much more expensive. So expensive that it is no longer affordable for the "average Joe" to trade or broadcast. The article makes a good argument on how the Internet has empowered individuals and artists to affordably express themselves online, and how a threatened record industry wants to stop that." Update: 10/20 6:55pm EST by C : More news from the webcasting front can be found in the article...
Rusty reports: "Friday afternoon, the RIAA and SoundExchange announced a temporary payment plan and fee reprieve for small webcasters while congress considers legislation.. Basically, by Monday, Oct 21st, small webcasters will need to pay a $500 a year minimum fee ($2500 max). While this rate still may be a problem for hobbyist webcasters, it is lower than the $2500-$6500 minimum that HR5469 called out.
From the RIAA's SoundExchange site:
This still provides no relief for Live365, although their appeal hasn't been heard yet.""Any webcaster that qualifies as an 'eligible small webcaster' under H.R. 5469 will not be required to pay on October 20 the per performance (.0762 cents) royalties otherwise due under the Librarian of Congress' decision of July 8, 2002.
Instead, by October 21st, these eligible small webcasters may instead pay only the $500 annual minimum fee set by the Librarian of Congress for each year or portion thereof they have been in operation since 1998 (a maximum of $2500) until this Congress has had the opportunity to act on the pending legislation."
Ann Gabriel writes the following in response to Rusty's report from our last article on webcasting:
Brian Hurley of Detroit Industrial also had his response to Rusty's words from that article.It appears that the message being sent to me in the response by SOMA FM's Rusty is that since HR 5469 does not directly affect me, I should sit quietly by and watch this travesty play itself out without saying anything.
What happened with HR 5469 directly affects EVERYONE is the webcasting community and to pretend otherwise is a joke.
There is nothing wrong with the fact that a group of people set out to negotiate a private deal for themselves intending to save themselves from the retroactive royalties that will come due on October 20, 2002.
But there is something horribly wrong with the FACT that what began as a private negotiation ended up being turned into a piece of legislation forced as a yolk around the necks of people who had no say in the matter.
I am tired of being asked as a member of the webcasting industry to accept something so horribly wrong just because some people think this deal was "the best they could get."
To sit by and accept the events that led up to the negotiations and the formation of the actual bill language is something I cannot do.
To me it would be like being invited over to lunch and expecting to eat Chicken Salad - and then being served Chicken S**t. There might be a large portion of the webcasting community who can stomach that, but I can't.
The RIAA never had any intention of dealing fairly, honestly and respectfully with the webcasting industry. Those that sat down privately to negotiate a deal for themselves did so in their own best interest and for their own individual reasons. I don't believe there was anything wrong with that.
But when the self-serving agenda of a few becomes something that is foisted upon the community as a whole, then I cannot, must not and will not stand by and accept such an American Injustice.
It is patently clear to me that the IWA and the VOW are separate organizations. To that end if you read my open letter carefully you will see that I point out the deal was NOT negotiated on behalf of the IWA and it's members, of which I was one until last week.
Just because people are claiming right now that HR 5469 in its present form will not really hurt the industry does not mean that is the truth. The only entity that HR 5469 helps is the RIAA and it is a sad truth that they care nothing about the industry they are destroying.
Gabriel Media Inc.
In case you haven't had a chance, here's the latest article from The Register on the state of HR5469 as it was introduced to the Senate, earlier this week. And as a bit of a wrap up to this roller coaster week, this Reuter's article serves to provide a nice summary of the situation so far.