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NPR Takes First Step To Fight Internet Royalties

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-so-fast dept.

Media 135

jmcharry sent in an article that opens, "After the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decided to drastically increase the royalties paid to musicians and record labels for streaming songs online, National Public Radio (NPR) will begin fighting the decision on Friday, March 16 by filing a petition for reconsideration with the CRB panel."

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NPR going down the crapper (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18369401)

Ever since NPR turned into the new mouthpiece for the radical right, I've felt like charging them royalties to listen to their crap newscasts. Morning addition is totally without meaningful content anymore.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (0, Offtopic)

Hypergolic (1076383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369481)

NPR has always been the news source for the Left. That's why I listen to it!

Re:NPR going down the crapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18369559)

I know, every morning it's like

I'm Karl Castle. This morning president Bush is in Florida to share his reading of "My Pet Goat" with his colleagues.

I mean, is this what qualifies as news?

Re:NPR going down the crapper (2, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369631)

If you think that NPR is on the right, your head would explode watching FOX.

NPR is very much to the left. Don't get mad at "Morning Edition" for covering the White House just because it happens to have a Republican in it. When the president farts, it's still news.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (2, Insightful)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369679)

NPR has essentially stopped all investigative reporting, as far as I can tell. They mostly read press releases for about a half an hour and then repeat the process.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (4, Insightful)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369763)

I live by DC and have a veritable cornucopia of public radio options, I really can't complain. Some of the nationally syndicated shows are hit and miss with this sort of thing but I've recently heard some decent reporting on NPR that I haven't seen from any other broadcast outlets. It depends on the time of day and the program.

As to NPR being to the left, I think that they present a pretty balanced coverage of the news. If anything they cater to a younger audience than CNN and Fox and I think that a lot of the leftist criticism comes from not so much from a political slant but from a generational slant. The style of news and reporting that is geared towards the 45 and under crowd may seem to have a liberal bias not so much from the content but from the tone.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (3, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370159)

They do really, really try to be balanced. But their underlying beliefs poke through. Terry Gross is a good example - she's only a really good, hard-hitting interviewer when her guest is someone that she has an ideological disagreement with. She's not very good when someone like Al Franken comes on - it just turns into a love-fest.

I still prefer NPR to most of the alternative, and really only stray from it when they have the beg-a-thon going on, or when they are doing a 20-minute piece on a harmonica player from Bangladesh.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370351)

Terry Gross is rubbish
Yes, I have heard interviewer threaten to walk out on her because they get abused. Terry is a lesbian, and likes to go after any Republican on gay rights issues. Even when that Republican isn't in office. I have heard her twice ask questions about totally unrelated to the interview topic and get a response along the lines of "Terry I am here to talk about my book on Victoria railroad building, and I am not in office and have never held office. I have no idea what Bush thinks of gay marriage. What is your problem? If you want to ask him, have him on the show." At which point she usually hems and haws and gets back on topic.

Terry is also rarly on anymore. She usually just reruns some interview from someone a year ago. "Terry interviewed Mr. X a year ago. His book is now out in paperback."

Terry really should turn the show over to the her guest interviewers. They are better than she is now. But I assume she makes too much moeny to do that.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (1)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371149)

Wow, it never even occurred to me that someone would think of her show as politically oriented. I've heard about 30-40 interviews of hers over the last couple years on my drive home if it happened to be the right time and they were all with entertainers; most of which she seemed worried that they can't think of answers for themselves so she asks these very leading questions and then rambles on giving them their own answer until they realize she isn't going to stop until they interrupt her with their actual answer. :)

I prefer the Diane Rehm show for coverage of politics and news. (Well, the first hour, at least; the second hour is more like Terry Gross' interviews with entertainers.)

No she's not (2, Informative)

SideshowBob (82333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371475)

Um, what the hell are you talking about? Not only is she not a lesbian, she's married for fuck's sake.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370111)

If anything they cater to a younger audience than CNN and Fox

You mean there's less reporting and even more sensationalism?

OPB now has Jew hating (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370429)

OPB (Oregon) has replaced "Performance Today" (the 2 hour classical, had to be cheap), and replaced it with the BBC's "Have Your Say".

If you hate Jews, this is the program for you. Nothing has cratered my respect for the BBC more than this antisemitic hatefest.

My wife even stopped listening and giving money. That is bad. If this show is so vile as to drive away my wife, the most loyal PBS/NPR donator, you have hit bottom.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18369815)

When the president farts, it's still news.


Memo from press office to White House kitchen:

Need more beans on the menu to help with identifying the President with the common man. Only add ham, bacon or salt pork into the beans when no Islamic, Jewish or other anti-pork religious groups on the guest list.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (2, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370289)

Since I'm in Australia I only get "All things considered" from NPR as a rebroadcast and I find it often good if somewhat slow paced and sentimental. What other programs do they have which can be recommended while they are still online?

As for it being left, just about every international news source outside of the USA looks that way in comparison to CNN et al - I still can't forgive them using file film of Palestinians celebrating a soccer win on the night of Sept 11 and pretending it was film of them celebrating the mass murder - lazy journalism and incitement to riot thrown together.

Other good show: This American Life (1)

jdmonin (124516) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371253)

I think one of their best is This American Life [thislife.org] , a weekly show of snapshots of interesting events of everyday people. Their site has a pretty good description of each show, and you can download the most recent as a good old MP3.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (1)

dodongo (412749) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371721)

I love The Diane Rehm Show [wamu.org] for news and discussion of current events, especially on Fridays when they do a two-hour panel / call-in discussion of the week's current events.

Left, Right and Center [kcrw.com] is also a good, weekly discussion-style show over current events. Less listener interaction and too short, but still, generally good commentary.

And Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me [npr.org] is a hilarious weekly quiz / comedy show about current events and pop culture.

I catch all three of these, week-in, week-out. They're fantastic.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371595)

You want left? Try Pacifica Network News. NPR is middle of the road Volvo & cocker spaniel in conneticut stuff. Probably the problem is that the CNN&FOXes have pushed the right so far into the mainstream that the middle now looks like it is left by comparison.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (1)

Professor Fate (1075913) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370147)

NPR in Detroit is already in the crapper. Our new program director last year fired the two best DJs in the city (Martin Bandyke and Judy Adams)and switched to an all talk format during the day. Bones: They're dying Jim! Kirk: Let them.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (2, Interesting)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370253)

You have no clue how bad NPR can get. I live Mississippi where anything with the prefix "public" gets accused of being a part of a leftist conspiracy. The funding here for NPR is SO bad (how bad is it?) they once had a drive time that lasted a month and a half! I would LOVE for the NPR stations here to switch to an all talk format, it sure beats the hell out of the crappy public domain classical that they play here. This is incredibly sad since it was Mississippi Public Broadcasting(MPB) that aired non-stop vital information when Katrina hit--even when their own headquarters was being hit! American Family Radio didn't even do that and they're based way in the north of the state that got a little wind for Katrina. I've talked face-to-face with the director of MPB as she is my neighbor, and she is not an idiot. She's a very capable and dedicated person, but Mississippians are clueless.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371491)

NPR in Detroit is already in the crapper.
That sentence is even more true when you leave out the "NPR in" part.

Re:NPR going down the crapper (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370401)

Just in case you're not trolling, there are quite a few other public broadcasting stations around the world [wikipedia.org] . The BBC (UK) and NHK (Japan) have English podcasts available... CBC (Canada) does too, but I can't find a regularly-updated news podcast for them. I'm sure there's others too.

just one question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18369459)

N P Who? Who is NPR? Why should I care? Does NPR run on my Ubuntu machine?

Re:just one question (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369635)

N P Who? Who is NPR? Why should I care? Does NPR run on my Ubuntu machine?
Duh. It's a discussion of whether NP == NPR. Try to keep up, will you?

Higher prices (3, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369461)

Does this mean that a song will cost $0.06 instead of $0.05 at allofmp3.com?

Re:Higher prices (5, Informative)

CapnRob (137862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369503)

No, it means that your NPR station will be charged $120,000 a year to stream their broadcasts, when they're charged $20,000 for over-the-air broadcasting. But thanks for playing.

Re:Higher prices (2, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369563)

Heh, I was trying to be funny. Next time I'll use a <sarcasm> tag, but a joke isn't as funny if you have to 'splain it.

Re:Higher prices (0, Troll)

soloport (312487) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370049)

Heh, I was trying to be funny. Next time I'll use a tag

Why? Does that make the un-funny magically funny? I'll have to try it.

Nope. Still not funny. :-p

Re:Higher prices (1)

soloport (312487) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370063)

Woa! Look! The magically disappearing tag. Ok, they're good for something. ;-) [posts plain-text this time]

Re:Higher prices (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370187)

It wouldn't have made my post funny, but it would have avoided this thread.

$120,000 is a low ball (5, Insightful)

Jack Action (761544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369675)

Internet stations that stream almost completely music are being saddled with outrageously usurious fees.

Soma FM [somafm.com] predicts their fees will rise from $20,000 today to $600,000 for 2006, and $1,000,000 in 2007.

Loosing stations like Soma would suck. I listen to a little bit of normal broadcast radio (usually just the urban hit station to pick up the occasional deserving top 20 hit), but otherwise its internet only.

Re:$120,000 is a low ball (1, Offtopic)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370221)

There really is a radio station called Soma FM? Somebody who read "Brave New World" and decided on the name is laughing at you all.

Re:$120,000 is a low ball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370713)

Uh, Soma FM is online only and made up of of 11 stations that cover a number of genres, if you were trying to make some sort of reference to brainwashing / placating the populace with generic popular music.

Re:$120,000 is a low ball (1)

bfischer (648685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371207)

www.somafm.com - very good stuff.

Re:$120,000 is a low ball (0, Troll)

Lucidus (681639) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371291)

And someone perhaps just a tiny bit more widely read would know that the word "soma" considerably predates "Brave New World" - by a few thousand years or so.

Soma meaning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371893)

It's the perfect pleasure drug in Brave New World, but based on / inspired by an ancient mystical entheogenic drug.

SoMa is a district of San Francisco.

http://somafm.com/about/whatissoma.html [somafm.com] has a few more definitions of soma.

Re:$120,000 is a low ball (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371955)

would know that the word "soma" considerably predates "Brave New World" - by a few thousand years or so.

And means exactly the same thing.

Re:$120,000 is a low ball (4, Insightful)

abshnasko (981657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370963)

Soma FM predicts their fees will rise from $20,000 today to $600,000 for 2006, and $1,000,000 in 2007


"Today". I do not think that word means what you think it means

Re:Higher prices (1)

loid_void (740416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370615)

Skull and Cross Bones Alert - Greed begets pirates, so more greed begets more pirates streaming music; and then it really gets "X-xciten."

Hurts when your own ox is gored, doesn't it? (4, Interesting)

isaac (2852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369511)

Funny NPR should be speaking up for the little guy now. They were the ones who in 2000 put the nails in the coffin of low-power community FM broadcasting by joining forces with the NAB to lobby Congress. (References a gogo [google.com] ).

NPR's only interested now that commercial radio is about to shut down their streaming operations (which are far more popular than commercial simulcast streams). Pardon me if I fail to shed a tear for NPR this time around, even if I also reject the CRB's new webcasting royalty rates.

NPR, you'll never see a fucking dime from me until you stand up for real community radio and reverse your stand on LPFM. I used to be a regular contributor to local public radio stations before your shameless whoring in 2000.

-Isaac

Re:Hurts when your own ox is gored, doesn't it? (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369623)

I'm sure all the NPR execs that read this site will think twice before crossing an anonymous web post.

Re:Hurts when your own ox is gored, doesn't it? (3, Insightful)

isaac (2852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369921)

I'm sure all the NPR execs that read this site will think twice before crossing an anonymous web post.

I'm not going to convince anyone at NPR of anything by ranting on /. - but if I raise the issue and others of like mind read about NPR's tryst with the NAB, maybe others will stop contributing to NPR stations until NPR changes their stance. Maybe some of these people will, like myself, be moved to write NPR during the semi-annual beg-a-thons to explain why they've stopped giving. Maybe, eventually, this issue will cost them more than they ever would have lost by competition from LPFM stations. I can hope, at least.

-Isaac

Re:Hurts when your own ox is gored, doesn't it? (3, Informative)

swm (171547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370275)

OK, here's one that's signed.

Why I no longer support NPR
http://world.std.com/~swmcd/steven/rants/NPR.html [std.com]

Re:Hurts when your own ox is gored, doesn't it? (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370681)

I'm sure all the NPR execs that read this site will think twice before crossing an anonymous web post.

Well, if they're as swayed by his user ID as I am, they'll listen.

Re:Hurts when your own ox is gored, doesn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18369627)

NPR, you'll never see a fucking dime from me until
I think that NPR would never see a dime from you even if they marched in lockstep with your wishes.

Re:Hurts when your own ox is gored, doesn't it? (1)

isaac (2852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369847)

I think that NPR would never see a dime from you even if they marched in lockstep with your wishes.


Historically false, but thanks for the kind words. After all, past performance is no guarantee of future returns.

-Isaac

Oops, posted to soon. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369649)

So what was wrong with not wanting interference all over their signal?

Re:Oops, posted to soon. (3, Insightful)

isaac (2852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369995)

So what was wrong with not wanting interference all over their signal?


LPFM stations were to be held to the exact same technical standards re: interference as (IRONY ALERT) the very same low-power translator stations used by NPR affiliates to repeat their own signals. The difference is that LPFM stations were allowed to originate content, rather than simply retransmit it. I don't see how NPR could raise the interference issue in earnest. No - this was about competition for donation dollars.

-Isaac

Re:Oops, posted to soon. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370455)

Actually this was supposed to be fixed with S 2686 [freepress.net] which was a huge megabill including provisions for net neutrality and opening up the spectrum for community internet. It also had some nasty DRM provisions. Thankfully it died near the end of last Congress but it will come up again. There's just too much going on in the telecommunications area for them to ignore. Watch for it. It might even be bigger than DMCA.

Re:Hurts when your own ox is gored, doesn't it? (1)

Guuge (719028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369813)

Since when does LPFM represent the little guy? As far as I'm concerned, it was in its coffin and buried long before 2000.

Re:Hurts when your own ox is gored, doesn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370457)

NPR, you'll never see a fucking dime from me until you stand up for real community radio and reverse your stand on LPFM. I used to be a regular contributor to local public radio stations before your shameless whoring in 2000.

Damned right. I'd have stopped subscribing over the low-power FM thing if I hadn't quit years earlier over other issues. My local station pulled some shit on some competitors against the then-current members of the BOD. The competiors were not allowed to include statements (of a size that would not have increased postage) in KQED's routine mailings. They were also denied access to the mailing list so they could do their own mailing to campain for seats. All of these competitors were already members, but the powers at the top of the KQED board did every thing they could to insulate themselves from any possibility of an opposing campaign.

It also became public that the BOD was pimping out the members to advertisers as "a generally affluent population with substantial disposable income". The ads in the glossy monthly mag were usually on a par with what you'd see in Vogue, etc. -- all pricey baubles for the swells.

When protests against the mag became widespread, KQED decided to "fix" the situation by offering a smaller, printed-on-newsprint mag containing only the programming schedule to those who preferred that format. As if we needed any further proof that they just has their heads well up their assholes.

Just the other night, a tin-cup-rattling session had the balls to still refer to themselves as "non-commercial", when they run full-on commercials for Ford and Lexus, at least.

They were also the thin edge of the wedge among S. F. Bay Area PBS stations in easing in commercials. First the sponsor's name was extended with a phrase like, "... where quality is job one". Then the phrase was extended to a short one-sentence paragraph, strung together with ands and wheres, but still consisting of only a single sentence.

The real crack in the dam came when they started using extended paragraphs with multiple sentences, followed by static pictures, ending with full ads that would run on any other station. We're finally only a small step from singing jingles about earth-scented douching products.

At this point, I don't remember whether it was their whoring or pimping that got me off paying them for their insulting behavior.

Re:Hurts when your own ox is gored, doesn't it? (4, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370969)

While I in no way want to denigrate the importance of the right of a person to broadcast the latest cocktail recipe to 10 of his or her closest friends, and in fact feel that low power radio stations are a basic means of insuring that the public airwaves remain public, the villain in this story is not NPR or any other volunteer run donation funded radio stations. By definition, these donations funded radio stations serve the people, because the people care enough to actually donate funds and time to these stations, as opposed to commercial stations that which may serve no public purpose, or a LPFm station which may only serve the purpose of a single person.

The reason that we do not have room for LPFM stations is that the FCC over-licensed the commercial bandwidth, and did not leave enough in reserve for station that verifiably serve a public purpose. The commercial stations then managed to frame the argument so that the public would complain not about the over-licensing of redundant commercial interests, but about the public stations enacting a protectionist stand. The public stations have to be protectionist. No one is threatening to remove a commercial license, and most commercial stations can afford to increase their power. In fact, by putting forth such a arguments one is effect lobbying for the pure commercialization of the airwaves, leaving no room for public radio, much less LPFM.

The issue is greater than LPFM, greater than NPR, greater than Pacifca, greater than the ACN or whatever your favorite Christian network is. Such stations have limited funds and loads of enemies. On a crowded dial, it would be all too easy to create a network of LPFM transmitters that would block the signals of such public stations. Again, I am not saying that NPR is correct in it's actions. I am not generating a scary scenario so to use fear to move people to my position. All I am saying is that the dial is crowded. In some places, there is a scant half megahertz between stations. In some markets a single entity owns much of the commercial licenses. In some markets, the exact same single is broadcast over multiple commercial stations. There is enough bandwidth available for public, commercial, semi-commercial, and LPFM. The problem is that FCC does not take the public airwaves seriously, and allows the private corporations to do whatever they like. Then the private corporations have enough media access so that people believe that it is the public radio fault.

Slashdot too? (2, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369523)

I guess CmdrTaco got hit with a royalty request, because I got "Nothing to see here..."

This could really hurt NPR (1)

Hypergolic (1076383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369541)

For NPR, which runs off of the contributions of it's listeners, this will put a severe dent in it's finances.

Re:This could really hurt NPR (2, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369597)

Man, no kidding. How are they going to spread the increased costs to all six of their listeners?! That will suck for them.

Re:This could really hurt NPR (1)

magicchex (898936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18372247)

I know you're kidding, but around here at least, NPR is solidly the most popular station among the people I know and have talked to about radio. Could be partly that our local station, WUOM, is better than most NPR stations, which has translated into greater popularity than most NPR stations. The station where my parents live for instance, WKAR, I tend to avoid. Luckily, WUOM's signal is strong enough that even when I'm visiting my parents who live about 60 miles away I get it loud and clear. Are NPR station finances available to look at for the public? WUOM seems to have such strong support that it seems to have as much money as local corporate stations (for instance, the signal is stronger than almost any other station around here, public or otherwise). I wonder how much being in a college town affects listener numbers also. Both stations are based in college towns (Ann Arbor and East Lansing) but in my experience (which could of course be completely detached from reality) WUOM (Ann Arbor) is considerably more popular than WKAR (East Lansing). Another trend I've noticed is that among the undergraduate students here at Michigan, the vast majority of them have memories of listening to NPR frequently or exclusively when younger and being driven around by their parents. I'm sure there's no causal effect, but it was very interesting to hear when doing an informal survey of Michigan students about NPR.

Anyways, I've completely forgotten what I was talking about. If you got this far, thanks for reading!

Re:This could really hurt NPR (2, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18372355)

I'd love to listen to NPR more often, but it really just makes me want to take a nap. Too much new-age crap. And, really, I feel about the same listening to NPR as I feel when I'm forced to watch Bill O'Reilly. Perhaps not quite that bad. But they do replay the same content countless times until you've nearly memorized every word. And as worldly as I would like to be, I really don't care about organic wall-paper makers in a remote Irish village that are saving their money to refurbish the town well. Or, on the flip side, twenty-five minute audio interviews with some British guy that dresses like Captain Picard and built his house to look like the Enterprise from Next Generation.

I know a lot of people claim to listen to NPR, but I think the number that claim to far outweighs the number who actually do. The only time I've actually heard someone listening to it was in the occasional taxi cab.

On the other hand public radio broadcasting is far superior to public television broadcasting. I haven't watched PBS in a very long time, but all they ever had were pledge drives, documentaries about lesbians who swear a lot, hunting shows and round tables of women talking about current events. Oh, and of course all of the outdated BBC content that was three decades old (except for good stuff like Doctor Who, which they stopped broadcasting).

Really, I think public broadcasting in all manner has outlived its purpose. Especially with the internet. Hell, I can get the BBC content directly. Why do I need to get it filtered through a poorly-structured PBS broadcast at additional expense?

The only truly great thing I can say about NPR is that they present their content without the brain-numbing, stupifying, insultingly ADHD-oriented flash-bang, shock-and-awe presentation of other news outlets.

Re:This could really hurt NPR (2, Funny)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369615)

this will put a severe dent in it's finances
Dude! Your ability with logic would put even Mr Spock to shame!

Re:This could really hurt NPR (1)

servoled (174239) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369713)

Don't forget government grants and commercials or as NPR prefers to call them, "underwriting announcements".

Re:This could really hurt NPR (2, Interesting)

siglercm (6059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370027)

I've only donated to public radio for vanity promotional statements since they received the $200 million Kroc bequest [npr.org] to their endowment fund. I'm not a finance expert, but at some point their costs should be completely covered by their endowment annuities. So many charities are in much greater need.

NPR has Ray Kroc (McDonald's) money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370251)

Remeber that NPR has a HUGE endowment from Ray Kroc's (founder of McDonald's) window.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story Id=1494600 [npr.org]

They don't need your money or Congress's

I for one am glad (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369557)

that someone with public interest is starting to yell. I listen to Internet radio only these days. I'm not wanting the RIAA to send me letters of any kind, and standard radio SUCKS thanks to corporate radio. I support the stations that I listen to because the play the music I like, music that I cannot hear on broadcast radio. Now, the RIAA wants to put the only source of music that is worth listening to out of business??? WTF! Broadcast radio will end up being ALL talk radio.

I hope that this brings the whole thing to public attention in a way that is bad for the RIAA in general. This stranglehold that they have on music distribution will end up killing the music business as we have known it. Perhaps that is a good thing, I don't know, but I can say that from the bottom of my heart, I'd like to see the RIAA legally squeezed for monopolistic practices somehow. Yes, I know its not likely, but they do need slapped down hard.

Re:I for one am glad (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369605)

Recently the Payola scandal most recently prosecuted was settled, and Clear Channel and CBS and other stations that have ruined small town radio, have agreed to play non-RIAA content. The trouble is, I don't know if they can get away doing it all in the wee hours of the morning.

It's not the RIAA causing this problem.... (3, Insightful)

freshmayka (1043432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369831)

Following the money on this one does not lead straight to the RIAA. The people who are threatened by internet radio are the traditional FM broadcasters and now Sirius and XM in the satellite radio industry.

FM is fueled by big corporate advertising dollars and payola.
Satellite radio is fueled by subscriptions.

Internet radio has a mix of the above and an abundance of free stations sponsored voluntarily by their listeners. Now close your eyes and imagine a world where every car is able to connect to internet radio. The brews big trouble for the traditional and satellite broadcasters.

Having NPR step up to this is good news indeed - while NPR is faaaar from a perfect organization this move certainly wins then some brownie points with me.

No it's you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370897)

Go here [kurthanson.com] . Read the first sentence. Eat brownies.

Re:I for one am glad (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370149)

How would you suggest that musicians who record music get paid?

Re:I for one am glad (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370367)

There have been no shortage of people that want to help them out. There are no shortage of companies that want to help sell their music. There are millions of people selling stuff online without the help of the MPAA or RIAA.

It has been shown with reasonable efficacy that most artists do not make money from record sales, they make it from touring mostly. Courtney Love had a great rant about that. People do want to buy music they like, but the problem is that they mostly like 'popular' music which is made popular by the 'music industry' because the control the creation and distribution of music/videos.

If that control was broken and dismantled then spread across a much larger group of people and companies, it would represent competition, and create more content, not stifle it. The Internet and digital age is here, bringing with it many opportunities. If MP3 online stores were to become focal points for electronic distribution/sales it would make the whole industry more competative. Music would be priced better, more of it would be available.

Additionally, and more to the point, Internet based radio is now what the radio broadcasting industry used to be before the RIAA members re-arranged it to suit themselves. These same Internet radio stations can front the sales/distribution of music/video media as well.

If the price of a CD was only $7.95USD there would be little point in piracy for many people. If you could get that music at reasonable prices, free of DRM, it would be a booming business without the deficit of having to line the pockets of the current big players in the music industry.

There are hundreds of ways to re-organize the music industry, but the only successful ones I can think of do not include music distributors continuing to get rich while artists do not. There are far too few artists who actually do benefit from the RIAA, despite what we are told to believe. For every artist they do support there are ten more they do not.

If that is not bad enough, the RIAA decides (more or less) what we get to listen to, which band becomes popular... in fact, they have way too much influence on the music industry. The fact that I and many other people no longer have any use for broadcast radio because of the ruination they are bringing on their own industry is the reason they need to go. They ARE ruining the future possibilities of budding artists even as we write on /.

Its time for other people to share in the control and management of the music industry. There is no evidence that the current regime is doing anything but destroying the industry for their own gain.

Re:I for one am glad (3, Interesting)

phaggood (690955) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370377)

> How would you suggest that musicians who record music get paid?

According to this [senate.gov] artist's Senate testimony from 2002, by selling t-shirts.

Therefore, most artists go into debt to make albums. In twelve years of making records, I have never recouped or received a royalty check, even though many of my records have gone into profit. I discovered early on that there's little money to be made from recording albums, and I learned to place my musical aspirations alongside more practical realities in order to supplement my income. No matter what royalty arrangement I made with a record label or even when I produced my own recordings, I never made a livable income from my recording projects alone. So I wrote songs for other artists, toured extensively, sang as a background singer and instrumentalist for other artists, and marketed merchandise. How ironic that, after years of developing my skills and honing my creativity, I generate greater profits selling T-shirts.

Re:I for one am glad (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371421)

If musicians want to get paid, then they should work for it like every other craftsman & performer on the planet. Anyone who wants to get paid over and over for the work it takes to create something once is just being damn greedy.

Yu0 Fail It (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18369611)

compan?y a 2

Why do public radio stations have to pay at all? (5, Insightful)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369633)

It's not like they are profiting from playing the songs. They're funded with public money already, so the payments for these royalties are going straight from our tax dollars to the music labels. Congress should just exempt them from royalty payments altogether via legislation--problem solved. In fact that would be a net win for taxpayers, since we'd get the same public service at a lower cost.

Re:Why do public radio stations have to pay at all (1, Informative)

Percy_Blakeney (542178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370083)

It's not like they are profiting from playing the songs.

The CRB specifically noted that they don't care what your revenues are -- all they cared about was making sure that the recording artists got "fairly" compensated for the use of their songs. That's why they shifted away from the revenue-based payment model to the performance-based one.

Congress should just exempt them from royalty payments altogether via legislation

I disagree; there is no reason to exempt a certain class of stations from paying for their music. Either you make everyone pay, or (even better) you give everyone an exemption.

Re:Why do public radio stations have to pay at all (1, Interesting)

enjahova (812395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370113)

NPR is paying for songs. The government gives money to NPR to pay for the songs. So your next logical step is for the government to decide it doesn't want to pay anymore and just take the songs for free? As much as I'd like that in the case of RIAA, I don't think it will go over that well.

Maybe one day when we get over all this IP crap.

Re:Why do public radio stations have to pay at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370235)

They're funded with public money already, so the payments for these royalties are going straight from our tax dollars to the music labels.

If labels were worthless, artists would not sign with them. YOU may not care about the labels' service, but the world does not (and should not) revolve around YOU. If the artists feel like the labels perform a worthwhile service (as demonstrated by the actions of artists i.e. the artists willingly pay the labels), while shouldn't the labels be paid for their services? The fact that your money is being spent by the government is between you and the government. Why should the labels have to pay because the government robbed you (i.e. taxes)?

Re:Why do public radio stations have to pay at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370293)

Tax-based funding of public radio stations is only
a small amount of their budgets these days; the bulk
comes from people's donations and companies' support.

All musicians are Public Servants? (2, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370301)

Congress should just exempt them from royalty payments altogether via legislation--problem solved. In fact that would be a net win for taxpayers, since we'd get the same public service at a lower cost.

1) Pass law declaring all musicians are Public Servants
2) Stop paying creators and workers
3) Profit!

Interesting suggestion, but I'd rather see...

1) Halt misappropriation of taxpayer monies
2) Defund government funded political propaganda
3) Freedom!

Thanks for the offer, but I can decide whom I pay for news and music, without instituting your nanny-state to run my entire life.

Re:All musicians are Public Servants? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371565)

If NPR were "government funded political propaganda," wouldn't you expect it to be more positive in its portrayal of the government and government policies?

Re:All musicians are Public Servants? (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371729)

If NPR were "government funded political propaganda," wouldn't you expect it to be more positive in its portrayal of the government and government policies?

Nope, that would be a tactic, and tactics are different based upon the situation.

Chess Tactic
If one person has a material advantage, then his tactic is to force equal piece sacrifices, so as to amplify the material advantage he already has. Having 3 pieces versus 2 is a much greater advantage than having 16 pieces versus 15. And his opponent would of course use the reverse tactic.

Party Tactic
If one political party has a power advantage then their tactic is to keep the status quo, they don't want things to change. Where as any other political party, with less power, would use the reverse tactic and seek change.

So... let's define our terms upon concrete definitions, instead of inductive assuptions.
If funding comes from the government, then it's "government funded"
And if propaganda is political in nature, then it's "political propaganda"

There's Public, and then there's Public (4, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370317)

Actually, NPR doesn't get much public money [npr.org] :

NPR supports its operations through a combination of membership dues and programming fees from over 800 independent radio stations, sponsorship from private foundations and corporations, and revenue from the sales of transcripts, books, CDs, and merchandise. A very small percentage -- between one percent to two percent of NPR's annual budget -- comes from competitive grants sought by NPR from federally funded organizations, such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. (emphasis added)

As for the stations themselves:

On average, public radio stations (including NPR Member stations) receive the largest percentage of their revenue (34%) from listener support, 24% from corporate underwriting and foundations, and 13% from CPB allocations.

National Public Radio is public in the sense of being a public service, not in the sense of being primarily funded by tax dollars.

Time to establish the seperation of News and State (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371055)

Public money can only be considered private money, if you launder it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_laundering [wikipedia.org]

1) Taxpayers pay out nearly 500 million a year
2) Politians redistribute it to the CPB
3) CPB distributes it to numerous stations
4) Stations buy programming from NPR
5) NPR claims most income is private, and not public supported

I think it's time to establish the seperation of News and State.

Re:Time to establish the seperation of News and St (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18372103)

I think it's time to establish the seperation of News and State.

Please quit picking on Fox News.

Re:Why do public radio stations have to pay at all (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370349)

Because non-profit organizations have to pay for everything else. If Wikipedia could somehow get its bandwidth for free, it wouldn't have to do funding drives very often at all. But that's not fair, since bandwidth really does cost money, and somebody's got to pay for it, and the way it's always been done is that non-profits pay for their fair share, just like everyone else. I suppose one could make the distinction that IP doesn't cost money to duplicate, unlike real services or real property, but as far as I know, there's no precedent yet for saying "oh, you're right, this whole IP thing is a bit of a sham, we'll recognize that, but only for non-profits".

Re:Why do public radio stations have to pay at all (1, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370597)

They're funded with public money already, so the payments for these royalties are going straight from our tax dollars to the music labels

Do you ever actually listen to "public" radio? A few hours of listening during drive time here in the DC area will have you hearing commercials from large associations, corporations, and other underwriting entities (as well as vanity donors) that want the exposure. If public radio's use of licensed material is a part of what brings the audience that those advertisers want to reach, then paying what the producers of that material ask is just a cost of attracting those big-ticket ads and donations.

Anyone who thinks that just because such stations are non-profits that they don't want all the audience and ad revenue they can get is completely misunderstanding the nature of the beast. They have payrolls to meet, and they have to compete to hire the people they want to hire. Just like any other business, they have facilities to pay for, web sites to run, etc... and they want cash. They attract a lot of their cash through advertising, and they price the advertising according to the audience they can deliver to the advertisers. If that means they broadcast, or stream from their web sites, stuff that costs them money in order to then sell that audience to advertisers, then so be it. Gotta spend it to make it.

industry standard (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369639)

Appealing to an industry controlled board isnt going to accomplish anything. Not for the little guy. NPR might catch a break, thats about it.

I actually read the ruling... (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369693)

And I was almost embarassed by the judges so clearly fellating the content industries' expert (Dr. Pelcovits) over his testimony. They took his (bought and paid for) recommendations hook, line and sinker. The only thing the content folks didn't get was a 25% premium on content sent to "wireless" users (they must be friends with Verizon), and then only because the expert didn't suggest that there was sufficient marketplace forces to determine the extent of premium that should be applied to portable devices. The judges repeatedly called bullshit on practically evey point of the webcaster's expert. Maybe they needed a better expert than this Adam Jaffe, or perhaps just someone more persuasive - say, someone with tickets to the final 4, an available hunting lodge, and a few cases of single malt.

I'm a bit surprised that there was little to no discussion concerning the relative changes in the fee structure - and that the content industry basically got every cent they asked for (except the 25%).

I don't know the players, but I'd say that there was some pretty significant bias in the panel before the parties even began to talk.

Re:I actually read the ruling... (2, Interesting)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 7 years ago | (#18369843)

The sad thing is that this oney-grab by the recording industry will do noting except move all of th internet radio stations ofshore. All of the potintial sales and possible deals, plus the money they currently pay - poof - gone.

Talk about myopic. I can see a board meeting a few months ago:
"Hey I have an idea! Let's raise the fees for internet streaming to a level that forces them all to go out of business or move offshore!" Somebody needs to be fired for this nonsense, since they way that you stimulate any business like this is by making it easier and less painful to comply/utilize it.

gQnaA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18369925)

Save Our Internet Radio!!! (2, Informative)

mikewolf (671989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370087)

this law doesn't just affect over the air radio stations, but all streaming web casts. this is a bad deal, and it is supposed to be applied retro actively to 2006 (which will basically put all streaming radio stations out of business).

you can write your congressman or representative here [congress.org] .

for more info on how this will affect streaming radio, check out www.SaveOurInternetRadio.com [saveourinternetradio.com] . i found out about this through soma fm's news section [somafm.com] (soma fm is an internet radio station i listen to, i am not affiliated with them)

Is that math correct? (1)

HadleyRille (763729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370207)

Reading the article, it's stated that: The suggested new rates would increase to $.0008 per-play for 2006 (retroactively), $.0011 for 2007, $.0014 in 2008, $.0018 in 2009 and $.0019 for 2010.

Then it states: By our estimates, WXPN could be paying about $1 million a year in royalties under the CRB's ruling.

To rack one million bucks in one year, wouldn't you have to play 555 million songs in that one year period? That's about 63,000 per minute. Wow! Those must be some really short songs.

Re:Is that math correct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370311)

did you ever think maybe the have more than one internet radio "station"? I know .977 does, they have one devoted to 80's, one for the current stuff, etc....

Re:Is that math correct? (2)

HadleyRille (763729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370465)

Well, that would be a lot of streams still. The article says they have three.

It was pointed out above that those fees are per listener, something I didn't see in the original article.

As Emily Latella would say: "Oh. That's quite different. Never Mind."

Re:Is that math correct? (4, Informative)

lowerlogic (978369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370353)

thats $0.0008 per song _per listener_. For example, if you have, say, 10,000 listeners, you pay about $1 million a year:
10,000 listeners * $0.0008 * 15 songs/hour * 24 hours/day * 365 days/year= $1,051,200.00 a year

Re:Is that math correct? (1)

HadleyRille (763729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370399)

Sorry, that's 1000 or so per minute, 60,000 or so per hour. My math, not so good either.

Petition site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18370383)

The petitions site is: http://savethestream.org/ [savethestream.org]

NPR - being destroyed from within (2, Insightful)

hedgemage (934558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370565)

NPR has been on a downhill slope ever since certain parties decided to put a political appointee as its head rather than a more neutral candidate. Just as John Bolton was appointed to be the US ambasador to the UN despite his dislike of the organization, NPR's current head is doing damage in much the same way due to his own political allegiances.

Internet broadcast of songs increases profit (1)

ashghan (999296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370721)

Now I'm no professional on the matter, but as far as I'm concerned artists and labels are getting a great benefit from the increased audience base provided by internet broadcast. I don't see that they have anything to worry about in terms of the current royalty rates as at the end on the day, their audience base has been increased ten-fold at least with the advent of internet radio broadcast. Artists that I would never heard of otherwise have now been brought to my attention, and as a result I have bought CDs by artists that I would never have been aware of if I only had my local radio stations to listen to (which, by the way, are very limited in terms of choice and genre in Australia).

With friends like these (1)

zerrubabul (1050318) | more than 7 years ago | (#18370781)

It's nice to see how the record industry treats those who actually *want* to pay for the music they use. Raising the fees 20x - 50x doesn't seem to be the way to treat those trying to do the right thing. And, almost unnoticed, with this decision they've established a system where they get royalties per each play *and* per each listener which I don't think has been possible before.

Why Play at all? (2, Insightful)

Emperor Cezar (106515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371133)

My question is, can a station not play the music these licenses cover? Kinda like "podsafe" music. Maybe it's time for NPR to start using Creative Commons music exclusively. If enough do it, artist will begin to release more under CC licenses.

Another RIAA Ripoff (2, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371169)

the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decided to drastically increase the royalties paid to musicians and record labels for streaming songs online

The new streaming royalty rates don't increase the royalties paid to musicians and record labels, they just increase the royalties collected from streamers. The RIAA (ie SoundScan, and predecessors/competitors BMI & ASCAP) have never paid all of the collected royalties to its rightful owners. Instead, the collection agencies keep it for themselves. I hope you're not surprised.

So it's excellent news that NPR is fighting this move. I hope NPR's entry also encourages other well-positioned orgs to complain. These new rates completely eliminate hobbyist and personal streaming to friends, by keeping the $500 per year minimum fee that is now equal to the per-play fee for supporting many dozens of simultaneous listeners. That minimum should be totally discarded, even more important than lowering the arbitrarily high (but still somewhat affordable, until it rises again over the next couple/few years) per-play rates that also squeeze out noncommercial and small commercial webcasters.
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