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Small Webcasters get Powerful New Ally

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the beat-the-man dept.

The Courts 362

An anonymous reader writes "On, Sunday, October 20, 2002, the RIAA's subsidiary, SoundExchange, was set to introduce draconian new fees on small internet webcasters - fees that were designed to drive those webcasters out of business and preserve the RIAA's monopoly on the distribution of music in North America. One of those small webcasters is the Triangle's classical music station, WCPE - quite possibly the finest classical music station in the world. Now it turns out that WCPE has an 800 lb gorilla in their corner, and he's set his sights on the RIAA."

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362 comments

New improved FP version 23.0 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497134)

One last one for macksav.

First Canadian Post! (-1, Insightful)

Solid StaTe_1 (446406) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497141)

Insane Sniper assissins

Canada -- 0
USA -- 1

Huh. Looks like USA wins this one.
Good for you!

frist spot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497155)

frost spit

In case it gets slashdotted (-1, Informative)

xdfgf (460453) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497171)

Helms Blocks Web Radio Royalty Deal in Senate
Fri Oct 18, 8:02 PM ET

By Peter Kaplan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior Republican senator has held up passage of a bill that would have lowered the royalty fees that small Webcasters pay to stream music over the Internet.

Only days before Webcasters are due to begin making royalty payments, Sen. Jesse Helms, a North Carolina Republican, on Thursday night blocked legislation designed to ease the financial impact on small Webcasters.

The bill already had support of industry players and approval of the House of Representatives. But an aide to Helms said Webcasters in North Carolina complained that the terms were still too onerous.

"The small Webcasters that we heard form in North Carolina did not feel like they had been part of discussions," said Joe Lanier, Helms's aide. "They were concerned that even under this bill they would not be able to survive."

With the legislation on hold, Webcasters will have to start making the higher, retroactive royalty payments by Oct. 20 to musicians and record labels.

But late on Friday, small Webcasters got a temporary break from the higher fees from SoundExchange, a division of the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) that collects royalties for recording copyright owners.

Eligible small Webcasters can avoid a per-performance fee and instead may pay a $500 annual fee, starting Oct. 21, for each year or part of a year they have been in operation since 1998, SoundExchange said in a statement.

That arrangement will stand until Congress acts on the pending legislation, SoundExchange said.

Among the objectors to the bill were two prominent religious broadcasters and a classical music station, Lanier said. They told Helms that the long-term precedent that would be set by the agreement was worse than having to pay higher royalty rates in the short term, Lanier said.

The Senate recessed on Thursday night and is not scheduled to reconvene until Nov. 12.

Helms was hoping to get the two sides to negotiate better terms for Webcasters by the time the Senate returns, Lanier said.

"We certainly hope that some sort of fair arrangement can be worked out," Lanier said.

The legislation would have allowed small operators to pay a percentage of their revenues or expenses, rather than a flat per-song royalty rate set by the Library of Congress (news - web sites) in June.

Smaller Webcasters had protested that the flat rate of .07 cents per listener per song -- due to take effect on Sunday -- could drive many of them out of business, because their royalty bills would exceed revenues from advertising or other sources.

But the hold-up provoked a terse reaction from one of the bill's key backers, Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

"I share the disappointment of Webcasters and many content providers that an anonymous hold prevented the Senate from passing this bill before the Oct. 20 deadline," Leahy said in a statement.

Leahy said the royalty issue had become "difficult in the extreme," but he urged both sides to continue negotiating.

The industry-brokered deal had won approval from the House of Representatives last week.

Under the terms of the deal, small Webcasters would pay a percentage of their revenues for broadcasts between 1998 and the end of 2002, increasing to 10 percent over the next two years, or 12 percent if the station's revenues exceeded $250,000.

Alternatively, Webcasters would pay 5 percent of their expenses for the 1998-2002 period and 7 percent over the next two years, if that amount was greater.

The deal only applies to Webcasters who will have taken in less than $1 million in total from 1998 until the end of this year. The revenue cap increases to $500,000 in 2003 and $1.25 million in 2004.

Larger Webcasters, such as America Online and Clear Channel Communications were not included in the agreement and will pay the previously set rate starting on Oct. 20.

For crying out loud (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497265)

"In case it gets slashdotted?" The article is hosted on Yahoo News. You can't slashdot yahoo. Yahoo slashdots you.

The last time someone managed to make a network of hacked computers big enough that they could DDOS yahoo to a crawl, it made the national news. Slashdot isn't going to come near to that.

Re:For crying out loud (1, Funny)

maan (21073) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497348)

Sorry...I've never done this, but I just have to today:

Imagine a beowulf of slashdots!! Could that do it?

Re:For crying out loud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497417)

In case it gets slashdotted?" The article is hosted on Yahoo News. You can't slashdot yahoo. Yahoo slashdots you.


In Soviet Russia and SBC Yahoo DSL, Internet logs onto YOU! - Yakov Smirnoff.

WCPE may be great, but that's not why he did it... (5, Insightful)

ewanrg (446949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497181)

If you read the full article, you'll notice that Helms' office mentions that they heard from Religious broadcasters in the area that felt that the burden would still be too great on them.

Nevertheless, nice to see that even the Religious Right is "getting the idea" in terms of dealing with the RIAA...

Religious radio Holy War vs. Satanic RIAA? cool. (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497206)

This is gunna get good. Looks like our fav technoish stations will be around forever. Woots!

Re:WCPE may be great, but that's not why he did it (5, Funny)

utahjazz (177190) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497335)

Damin that Helms! I've released 3 albums of really killer sermons, and I haven't gotten a dime from these stations yet.

What a genuinely interesting dilemma. (5, Funny)

Quarex (583947) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497354)

I thought surely my stance of thinking both the RIAA and the Religious Right were both wrong about everything would never be problematic.

But, no! Now, I might owe my ability to listen to all my favorite death metal, synth-pop, and hard house/trance webcasts to a group of people who generally only support things I vehemently oppose.

So. . . confused. . . cannot pick. . . side. . .

Re:What a genuinely interesting dilemma. QWZX (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497634)

Nice bigotry, dude. But I'll bet you consider yourself a "compassionate liberal".

Typical liberal. Believes yourself to be oh-so-open minded and tolerant. Which is true: about things YOU like. About things you don't agree with, you turn into the worst hate-filled bigot. But YOUR bigotry is justified, right? Because the people YOU hate are "wrong", right?

Re:WCPE may be great, but that's not why he did it (5, Insightful)

JCCyC (179760) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497383)

The Religious Right, incredible as it may seem, can be the killer ally of the digital freedom movement, just like Stalin was in WWII. Remember that morality vs. copyright case? (the right to edit movies to the customer's content)

When talking to any individual with such orientation [capalert.com], we have to stress that the current copyright fundamentalism is made to favor Hollywood - you know, that big, unholy, pornography-peddling anti-God collective in California. Mentioning Scientology [xenu.net] might help too. YMMV.

Now THAT is an 800-lb. gorilla.

Methinks thou couldst wring a ocean from a ... (3, Insightful)

therealmoose (558253) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497410)

damp cloth, to use the Streisand-style Shakespearian. The point is that some of Senator Helms' constituents had an issue with a bill and so Senator Helms held it up. That's the way it's supposed to work. This does not reflect upon any large political quadron.

Wow (1)

rppp01 (236599) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497191)

Jesse Helms? I never would have thought a High Ranking Republican would get involved like this- and on the side of the smaller guy.

I am glad the legislation is 'dead' for a few weeks. I hope when they reconviene, it stays dead.

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

foistboinder (99286) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497352)

Jesse Helms? I never would have thought a High Ranking Republican would get involved like this- and on the side of the smaller guy.

Sometimes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

Re:Wow (3, Informative)

Rakarra (112805) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497592)

Jesse Helms? I never would have thought a High Ranking Republican would get involved like this- and on the side of the smaller guy.

The Republicans are generally not friends with Holleywood and the music industry. The Democrats are traditionally those industries' allies. So while it's just a -tad- bit surprising, it shouldn't come as a complete shock. I never thought I'd see the day though when Jesse Helms would actually fight on the right side of an issue and be anything other than an embarassment of a senator.

Samba is useful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497198)

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Not the usual O'Reilly quality, July 4, 2002
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THE best Samba book available, March 8, 2002
Reviewer: Joe Turner (see more about me) from Spring, Texas United States
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Not so important two days ago? (0, Offtopic)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497201)

2002-10-19 06:00:31 Jesse Helms Freezes Bill, Saves Small Webcasters (articles,news) (rejected)

That was rejected instantly, by the way.

Re:Not so important two days ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497261)

apparently, because you forgot to make all the URLs redirect via doubleclick.

remember the advertising next time!

Re:Not so important two days ago? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497263)

You must not be a /. golden boy.

Double WOW (5, Funny)

Christopher_G_Lewis (260977) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497204)

Jesse Helms? I never would have thought that he was 800lbs...

It's a misprint (5, Funny)

JohnTheFisherman (225485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497365)

He's an 800 year old gorilla.

Re:It's a misprint (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497416)

ROTFLMAO!!! Man, I wish I hadn't posted to this story before so I could mod you up!

Re:Double WOW (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497478)


I didn't think he was an 800lb gorilla so I went to google to find an image of him. I found some [google.com], but when I went to the first site [brassknuckles.net] it was taken down by "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy".

I guess he is an 800 lb gorilla.

Huh? (2, Interesting)

jaybird144 (558619) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497205)

I'm confused...is Jesse Helms fighting for or against the webcasters? From the /. post, I thought it was on behalf of them, but the article seems to say the opposite:

"Sen. Jesse Helms, a North Carolina Republican, on Thursday night blocked legislation designed to ease the financial impact on small Webcasters."

Does someone "in the know" want to clarify? Please?

Read the article. Darrr... (5, Informative)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497244)

It says he stopped it because smaller webcasters said the new 'lower' rates would be worse than the 'higher' ones after a certain amount of time and would drive them out of business. Even the new 'lower' rates were too high for some of them.. So im guessing it'll go from .07 per listener to maybe .01 which would still be too much IMO.. RIAA doesn't deserve squat for free advertising. RIAA should be paying webcasters to play the music.

Re:Read the article. Darrr... (5, Informative)

peter_gzowski (465076) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497466)

Jesse Helms blocked the legislation because the lower rates were still too high for many webcasters. However, these lower rates were not worse for the webcasters than the higher ones. The legislation was to change the rate from 0.07 per listener to some percentage of the webcasters' profits. For most webcasters, about 10%, for more profitable channels, 12%. However good intentioned Mr. Helms' blocking was, it will force webcasters to start paying (retroactively) fees based on the old system. They don't have to start ponying up all the dough quite yet, though, as this Salon article [salon.com] details.

You are right that the RIAA should be paying the webcasters, just as they do with the regular radio station promoters (that's a whole other problem, though).

Re:Read the article. Darrr... (4, Insightful)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497508)

RIAA should be paying webcasters to play the music.

No... that would give them too much control over what tunes get played through web casting. Just make it even, with nobody paying anything, and there's a greater chance that people will get to hear the music they like rather than what the RIAA is pushing on them. It's not a perfect chance, though, because we'll always be subject to the whim of the person or group doing the webcasting, or perhaps wherever their financing comes from.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497269)

He's fighting for the webcasters. If you would have read the article you would have known that he's going to try to get a new bill with even lower royalties.

Re:Huh? (5, Informative)

Yobgod Ababua (68687) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497276)

I believe that was the infamous legislation which had a last minute 26 page addendum tacked on that changed it from being designed to ease finanical impact on small Webcasters into something deisgned to save a mere handful of the largest small webcasters and leave the others to hang.

It snuck through the house before people realized it had changed. So blocking it in the Senate actually was acting on the side of the small webcasters.

Check out the previous news on the subject for more details.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497311)


"The small Don't you mean someone "who can read english"?

Webcasters that we heard form in North Carolina did not feel like they had been part of discussions," said Joe Lanier, Helms's aide. "They were concerned that even under this bill they would not be able to survive."

Among the objectors to the bill were two prominent religious broadcasters and a classical music station, Lanier said. They told Helms that the long-term precedent that would be set by the agreement was worse than having to pay higher royalty rates in the short term, Lanier said.


The point is, Helms stopped a *false* remedy, in favour of presumably waiting until a real one comes along.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497343)


Sorry about the cut and paste bullshit.

Netscape 4.7 should die already.

It's true what they say (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497216)

Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Re:It's true what they say (4, Funny)

immanis (557955) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497433)

Dear god, please don't ever make me imagine Jesse Helms as a bedfellow.

Goodbye trance stations... (5, Interesting)

domninus.DDR (582538) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497219)

The best trance stations on the internet went down because of this law, and my music selection has hurt since. The only one left is Digitally Imported, which is ok but I like Tag's Trance and XTC radio better. A "dance" radio station started broadcasting in dallas recently, it is ok but is very repetitive. And I did buy two or three cds of artists I had heard on tag's or xtc, but now I buy none. Well, those were import CDs anyway and RIAA probably didnt get anything from them.

fuck internet radio. (2, Offtopic)

User 956 (568564) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497296)

The best trance stations on the internet went down because of this law, and my music selection has hurt since.

Fuck internet radio stations. Make your own playlist. [turnstyle.com] They may have killed mp3.com's personal jukebox, but they haven't yet killed fair use (completely).

Re:Goodbye trance stations... (5, Insightful)

curunir (98273) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497664)

The best trance stations on the internet went down because of this law.

I hope you're referring to the DMCA and not HR5469 (the one that Helms killed in the Senate). The latter would have kept DI on the air permanently and probably would have brought TTT back on the air (I'm sure he could have raised enough in donations to pay the proposed fees).

Everyone here seems to be under the misguided impression that killing this bill was a good thing because it didn't do enough to ensure that small webcasters could continue broadcasting. But people fail to realize that the alternative to this bill isn't likely to be a new bill. It'll most likely mean that CARP rates will go into effect (should SoundExchange choose to enforce them) and the stations that would have been able to be financially viable under the proposed bill, will no longer be.

Duh, I don't get it... (3, Insightful)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497227)

How does this hurt the RIAA. This bill was going to forcibly reduce the royalties that these stations would have to pay. Now, with the bill blocked, they have to pay the higher rate or opt for the RIAA's "reduced" flat rate.

I'm not seeing how Helms, the 800 pound gorilla?, is benefitting the small broadcasters.

Blocked bill = No payments needed till its redone. (0)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497266)

duh? hi. hello.

Re:Blocked bill = No payments needed till its redo (2)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497317)

Better read it again. Payments are most definitely needed, starting yesterday. Furthermore, the payments are significantly higher than they would have been, had the bill passed.

Re:Duh, I don't get it... (4, Insightful)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497287)

With the bill blocked the small webcasters may have to pay a higher rate initially (or the flatfee), but have a better chance of getting more reasonable legislation passed rather than having to fight the legislation after it's passed.

Fair enough. (2)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497361)

Let's just hope that interest in the bill doesn't disappear. It would be too bad, now that they are paying a higher rate, if this got shoved aside by more pressing issues. Like, umm, ah... an Iraqi war?

Re:Duh, I don't get it... (5, Interesting)

cornice (9801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497305)

You can: A, pay this wildly insane rate that will put you out of business. B, pay this lesser wildly insane rate that will put you out of business. C, hold out for a better deal.

That's why I don't get it. (4, Insightful)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497460)

Now they have to pay the higher rate and gamble on whether they get any deal at all. Had Helms allowed the bill to pass, the small broadcasters would be paying a smaller fee and could follow up with another bill to gamble on.

A bird in hand....

Do the math (5, Informative)

martissimo (515886) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497499)

the difference between that "reduced flat rate" and the 70 cents per 1000 listeners per song can really be quite huge (even to very small stations).

lets say a station reaches 100 people on average and at 4 minutes per track averages 15 songs an hour. that's 360 songs a day, or 131,400 a year... at the other rate of 7 cents per 100 listeners it works out to a fee of $9,198 a year. to someone like this a flat rate of $500 seems like a pretty huge difference... heck this flat rate would come to almost half as much even if you only averaged 10 listeners (500 vs 918).

too bad the flat rate is only good till congress acts on the pending legislation, because this deal would probably actually be fairly viable for quite a few webcasters

Why or Why not (3, Informative)

hobbitsage (178961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497234)

Really when it comes down to brass tacks ... when the rubber meets the road ... Does it truly mater why he did it? Politics makes strange bedfellows. This is evident. You don't have to like them to have them help your cause. US and Soviet Union in WW2 had the same enemy and worked together. Just need to watch people that you ally with in on situation in case they swig opposite on others that you are for.

Well.... (1)

legoleg (514805) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497246)

at least he's good for something. Seriously though, this will get other people to see whats going on... it'll be a good start for things down the road.

Oleg

hmm. wonder what mchawking would say about this... (5, Funny)

asscroft (610290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497255)

After all, he specializes in MP3s, and his songs are streamed from his site and mp3.com, but then again, one of his song is called "Why won't Jesse Helms just hury up and die"

I guess we now know why, he's meant to save the webcasters.

"Dammit, how'd we miss this guy?" (5, Funny)

Dr.Seuss (94326) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497268)

Well, you can bet the RIAA won't make the mistake of overlooking his campaign funding [opensecrets.org] again! ;)

Re: "Dammit, how'd we miss this guy?" (3, Informative)

fireproof (6438) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497501)

They won't have the opportunity to do so. He's retiring at the end of this term, and is about to be replaced in a few months . . .

Re:"Dammit, how'd we miss this guy?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497637)

Guess again: Helms isn't running this year, having announced his retirement a while back.


As for who's coming next, well, you'll love this:

The 2002 NC race for U.S. Senate pits Elizabeth "Liddy" Dole (former head of the American Red Cross, wife of ex-Senator Bob and a really big fan of Viagra) for the Republicans vs. Democrat Erskine Bowles (major NC financial figure who served as Clinton's White House chief of staff during the Monicagate fiasco).


The opinion from here in NC, particularly from the left, is:

  1. Liddy will take Jesse's seat, not because of her "star power" so much as because of Mr. Bowles' lackluster campaign. (He ran commercials to show what a Regular Guy (tm) he was, including shots of him bowling. Get it, Erskine bowls.. oh yeah, my vote's in the bag after that one..)
  2. The choices really do suck this year. Liddy seems just a little clueless, and Bowles has a knack for impersonating a weasel.
  3. Even if North Carolina is represented by a doorknob for the next six years, it's a damn sight better than ol' Jess.

Okay, I give up... (4, Funny)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497270)

"...the Triangle's classical music station..."

What the hell is "the Triangle"? And why do they have a classical music station. Now I can understand a square might have a classical station, or maybe a pentagram would have an acid rock station.

Maybe it's because they use triangles in symphonies. What kind of station would a circle have, I wonder?

Re:Okay, I give up... (4, Informative)

buck09 (212016) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497338)

http://www.rtp.org/

It's the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, and the Research Triangle Park, which is the home of RedHat


The 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park is the largest research park in the United States, and is home to over 140 organizations. RTP has around 42,000 full- time employees entering the Park each day. Recognized internationally as a center for cutting- edge research and development, the Park is owned and developed by the private, not-for-profit Research Triangle Foundation. The Research Triangle itself is named for the Triangle formed by the three universities: Duke University at Durham, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Re:Okay, I give up... (4, Insightful)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497369)

'The Triangle' refers to the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, in the central part of NC. It's sort of bordering on megalolis these days (It's kinda gone from a triangle to a blob..)

Re:Okay, I give up... (4, Funny)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497415)

What kind of station would a circle have, I wonder?

From the circular shape, I'd say a station with both kinds of music.

Country and Western.

Re:Okay, I give up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497461)

"All cymbals, all the time."

Re:Okay, I give up... (1)

azcoffeehabit (533327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497544)

It is the Reggae stations that have circles of course (or is that how you sit with your friends when you listen to it) ;)

It's a Shakedown (2, Insightful)

LunaticLeo (3949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497271)

From a Senator like Helmes, this is a old school shakedown of the Copyright industry. Once, he gets enough money his "objections" will disappear.

I have a low opinion of Helmes not because of his purported politics, but because of the crassness of his behavior as a politician/campaigner.

another fucking moron (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497465)

Helms is NOT RUNNING FOR REELECTION

his term expires in january, he is not soliciting any contributions

Helms is not running for reelection (5, Informative)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497505)

Someone mentioned this before, but he got modded to 0 for some reason. Sen Helms is not running for reelection. His term is up in January. There is no "shakedown".

Re:It's a Shakedown (2)

uncleFester (29998) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497572)

From a Senator like Helmes, this is a old school shakedown of the Copyright industry. Once, he gets enough money his "objections" will disappear.

It better happen damn fast, then.. he's not running for re-election. His seat is being pursued by Erskine Bowles and Elizabeth Dole [wral.com] (yes, that Elizabeth Dole [elizabethdole.org]).

Given the choice.. I'd prefer Helms. The campaign in this state has been utterly shameful, bordering on laughable.

Re:It's a Shakedown (3)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497631)

From a Senator like Helmes, this is a old school shakedown...I have a low opinion of Helmes...

Dude, at least spell his name correctly. Misspelling it puts you on par with people who yammer on about "Linux Torvalds"...

Support the artists! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497279)

Beethoven and Mozart will compose more symphonies if they can put bread on their table.

classical music? (5, Insightful)

Ashish Kulkarni (454988) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497289)

You know, it's really sad to see classical music being affected such. People who listen to classical music are a dying breed...although I'm a big fan of it myself, people simply do not like classical anymore nowadays. Also, the availibility of good classical music is thin where I live...people simply buy the latest songs or just pirate them and are happy with most of the (in my opinion) crap music that exists out there. Sigh...there goes the chance for people to listen to good classical music in their homes, hassle-free.

Folks, if you dislike the RIAA's tactics and would like to listen to some alternative music, please give classical music a try...there's nothing like listening to some good ol' music.

800 pound gorilla? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497297)

Jesse Helms? Are you BULLSHITTING yourselves again? Helms record is atrocious, bad even.

Uhm...who cares?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497298)

Radio as a whole sucks; radio over the net sucks even more. As a matter of fact, commercial music in general bites. It'd be better if someone would assemble a bunch of public domain sounds and samples and write a free program that randomly generated music.

Somebody please explain (3, Interesting)

f97tosc (578893) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497301)

What is the role of the government in all of this and why is there a need to regulate these prices?

If I am an independent musician, can't I just make a deal with a local webcaster at a rate that we negotiate?

Does anybody know?

Tor

Re:Somebody please explain (2)

gosand (234100) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497566)

What is the role of the government in all of this and why is there a need to regulate these prices? If I am an independent musician, can't I just make a deal with a local webcaster at a rate that we negotiate? Does anybody know?

Shut up boy, you'll do what you are told, when you are told. You are nothing without a record deal from a company that is controlled by the RIAA. You are not a recording artist until we say you are a recording artist.

Sincerely,

Hilary Rosen

Sarcastic as it seems, it rings pretty true to life.

On a personal note...

I just ordered my first CD in over a year. Rise Above [21361.com] which is 23 Blag Flag songs to benefit the West Memphis Three [wm3.org]. It looks like it will be awesome, from the song list.

Re:Somebody please explain (3, Informative)

WEFUNK (471506) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497607)

If I am an independent musician, can't I just make a deal with a local webcaster at a rate that we negotiate?

IANAWYNTBTKTFS (I am not a whatever you need to be to know this for sure), but I think you're always free to do this as an independent, or even through your label. The issue here is the mandatory licensing terms which allow broadcasters (and webcasters) to play songs without explicit permission as long as they pay the royalty fees set out in the law. Otherwise, stations would have to negiotiate individually with each and every copyright holder in order to buy permission to play songs. Now I might be somewhat wrong in that stations may need to pay the RIAA no matter what (even if they only play independent music) just because it was the easiest way to set this up in the olden days.

Similar mechanisms have been proposed to allow anyone to manufacture life saving drugs or use old software patents as long as they pay a set royalty rate. The rates would presumably be higher than what you might be able to get if you negiotiated your own terms and higher than what the original company would normally charge.

He's supposed to represent NC, not Hollywood (5, Interesting)

seosamh (158550) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497319)

I'm not a big fan of Jesse Helms, but it appears
that he is doing exactly what he should do as a
senator for North Carolina. He's representing the
interests of the state's residents in the Senate,
vs. representing the interests of an out of state
campaign donor.

How many states stand to gain under the webcasting
rates as approved in the House? Will there be a lot
of new jobs pursuing small webcasters who haven't
paid up? Will there be a lot of new technical skills
dispersed through the population by reducing the
number of webcasters through expensive licensing
and/or royalies fees? Will there be a boom in artisic
expression thanks to reduced chances for artists to
gain exposure?

Helms is right on this one. I wish more legislators
were looking out for their own constituencies on
matters like this, DMCA, etc.

Re:He's supposed to represent NC, not Hollywood (2)

EricWright (16803) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497429)

Yah, but now he can afford to do that, as he's 81, and not seeking re-election to the senate this year. In days of old, he'd have his hand out waiting for corporate donations, just like all the rest of the politicians that are supposed to be "representing" the citizens of their respective states.

I guess after 30 years in senate, he doesn't need any more corporate handouts.

Re:He's supposed to represent NC, not Hollywood (2)

curunir (98273) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497506)

WTF???

The bill he killed would have allowed many mid-level webcasters to stay on the air. Now, it's only by the grace of the RIAA (SoundExchange) that they're allowed to do so. Helms is doing the RIAA's bidding under the guise of representing small webcasters.

Small Webcasters have been griping that this bill doesn't do enough for them and would rather see the entire webcasting industry destroyed rather than have part of it live on to continue the fight against the RIAA.

If helms was truly representing his constituents, he would be thinking about the hundreds of thousands of NC residents who listen to web radio rather a few confused and bitter webcasters who feel that they've been slighted by a process that was hopeless to begin with.

RTFA. (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497339)

The article says that the bill was DESIGNED to ease the financial burden on small webcasters, but in all reality, it probably would not have.

They were to be charged .07 per person per song in royalties. Instead, at this point they can pay $500/yr (from 1998 to present, IIRC) to cover their costs.

The small webcasters themselves had not been consulted when the original law was drafted and therefore felt that they would be put out of business by these "small" fees. .07/per song+person could raise some HEFTY fees.

Re:RTFA. (1)

rschwa (89030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497665)

.07/per song+person could raise some HEFTY fees.


I think it's worthwhile to point out that the number in question was $.0007 per song per listener...

I don't think that's particularly huge, myself. 1000 songs for 70 cents sounds like a pretty good deal to me, although I have no idea what kind of advertising rates you would be able to get for internet radio.

I'd think that bandwidth would be the big expense for these guys, it seems like these royalties would be insignificant in the face of that.

Helms and NC (3, Interesting)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497355)

So, Jesse Helms has not held onto his Senate seat for as long as he has by not taking care of his constituents. However, he's retiring this year, which means that he's not going to be able to do this for much longer. It's unclear whether either of the folks running for his seat (Elizabeth Dole and Erskine Bowles) will take the same position.

The real question is... Why are Rep. Howard Coble (Also North Carolina - R) and Sen. Ernest Hollings (South Carolina - D) not doing the same thing?

Jesse Helms to the rescue! (3, Informative)

sakeneko (447402) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497374)

I'd call Senator Jesse Helms [senate.gov] at least a 2 ton gorilla myself.... ;>

It is nice to see that Jesse Helms isn't taking a vacation in his last few months in office. (He's a short-timer -- he retires at teh end of the year.)

a powerful ally? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497389)

you mean the Force? :)

What the hell is up with Jesse Helms? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497394)

I heard awhile back that Jesse Helms was threatening awhile back to throw his weight to get the DMCA repealed if the big corps didn't stop abusing it. Seems he thought the bill was a good idea when it was passed, but believes the ways its being used are not the ways it was intended.

Now this is happening. But this article is so poorly written-- it starts out saying that jesse helms blocked a bill providing netcaster relief, but then later seems to be saying he only did this becuase he was holding out for a bill that gave even more netcaster relief.

So, is the idea that he actually believes the copyright laws should be in the public benefit? If so, okay, it's always good when "conservatives" actually attempt to uphold the principles the country was founded on as opposed to trying to disassemble them, but if that's the case why hasn't he actually done anything against the DMCA except for some public whining about it? And what does he think about the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which is one of the biggest sources of food for corporate abuse of copyright? Has he just not read it?

mmm.. sweet sweet payback.... (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497423)

... GOP "family values" folks have hated the entertainment industry for AGES.. Talk about strange bedfellows, though the libertarian streak thru geekdom (with which I sympathize, though not always agree) is definitely in line with old-school conservatism..

Wait, Jesse did something right? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497447)

I'm from N.C. and I'm shocked. I'm used to Jesse always being on the side of evil, but here he is casting a vote for the little guy. Has the world gone mad?

Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 55 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497456)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci-Fi writer Stephen King was found dead at his Maine residence this morning. Apparently, Mr. King was feeding some tree branches to a wood chipper when his Golden Retriever jumped him from behind, causing him to lose his balance and fall directly into the chipper. There weren't any further details. I'm sure he will be missed by the Slashdot community - even if you didn't enjoy his work, he did put in a lot of effort for the nVidia GeForce driver for XFree86. Truly an American icon.

we must be careful... (2, Insightful)

jaredcoleman (616268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497467)

It's good that more time will be spent in examination of this issue. Time is crucial for all of these issues of regulation of technology. Legislation and regulation of technology happens so quickly that people read about the decisions after they have been made and only after it is too late to give any input. Where is the public debate about these issues? It is often limited to places like /. where only a small portion of people can/will take part.

It's not just hanging chads that disenfranchise voters.

Typo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497481)

Now it turns out that WCPE has an 800 lb gorilla in their corner, and he's set his sights on the RIAA."

That should be "800 year-old".

Hmm, classical music (4, Interesting)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497492)

A large chunk of classical music manuscripts are out of copyright. That means that if you can find someone to perform it, you can create free music. How are musicians paid? Recordings of concerts, where the costs are already met by selling tickets, might be one way. The quality won't be as high as a specially-made recording but it might be good enough. Whether the performers would agree depends on how much money they would get from enforcing copyright on the recording and trying to sell it commercially (not much I suspect).

er, no.... (3, Informative)

slothdog (3329) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497510)

say what? Helms blocked the bill which would have *lowered* fees for small webcasters. (Read the article!) The only reason the webcasters got a reprieve is that SoundExchange (the company that collects the royalties) decided to not collect payments until the legislation is passed.

Re:er, no.... (2, Informative)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497617)

Better read the article again yourself, buddy.

This bill was blocked because, in the long run, fees would be HIGHER.

"Among the objectors to the bill were two prominent religious broadcasters and a classical music station, Lanier said. They told Helms that the long-term precedent that would be set by the agreement was worse than having to pay higher royalty rates in the short term, Lanier said. "

Someone did the math above, and it's almost 10x more per year using the "lowered" plan on average.

I'm confused... (2)

epukinsk (120536) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497550)

So under the law currently on the books, if I sit down with my buds every week and record some songs and then stream a random mix of them off the server in the closet in my dorm room for other students to listen to, the government expects me to pay $0.07 per song to the RIAA?

Or do I only have to pay $0.07 per Britney Spears track? If that's the case, why don't all the webcasters just play independent music? Doesn't Britney Spears' CD explicity prohibit public exhibition anyway?

Erik

Since when has Helms done anything FOR the people? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497568)

Isn't he a racist homophobe who has done more to hold back civil rights than pretty much anyone else in congress? Correct me if I am wrong...

800 lbs. gorilla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497611)

Umm...I really doubt Hilary Rosen would work AGAINST the RIAA.

Whatever people think about Jesse... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4497622)

he is very very responsive to his constituents. Every story I've ever heard about people contacting him for help (not necessarily positions on issues, but help) has had results.

I only hope that the senator who replaces him will be so responsive, and not just pretend to be from North Carolina...

HOORAY FOR JESSE HELMS! (1)

xp_fetchbeer (599818) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497624)

I can't believe I just said that. This must be proof positive that all politics are local. I will continue to believe that the RIAA/MPAA/TCPA scheme will fail until Jack Valenti personally shows up to collect my bootleg VHS copies of "Hello Larry".

What about my own content? (2, Interesting)

cpw (613005) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497629)

What if my stream ONLY plays content that I created and that I hold copyright on? I have a stream that plays a three hour loop of the Best of my radio show, so I own the copyright on that and it's all that's on the stream... Why should I pay the RIAA for this? I'm not signed, and I'm just doing it in an effort to get more listeners for my show (which is webcast by my University, which does/will pay royalities for all music it streams).

Any insights would be greatly appreciated...

Gee, what an ally (3, Funny)

TheGreenLantern (537864) | more than 11 years ago | (#4497648)

This is great and all that the bill was held up, but Jesse Helms? The man has 9 toes in the grave, and will be lucky if he lives long enough to retire at the end of this year.
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