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A Reprieve For Net Radio?

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the all-not-yet-lost dept.

The Internet 115

Porsupah writes "The Register reports that "Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) have headed the 'Internet Radio Equality Act,' which aims to stop the controversial March 2 decision which puts royalty of a .08 cent per song per listener, retroactively from 2006 to 2010 on internet radio," as imposed by a recent decision from the Copyright Royalty Board. "If passed, today's bill would set new rates at 7.5 percent of the webcaster's revenue — the same rate paid by satellite radio.""

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An old fashioned .. (-1, Offtopic)

cablepokerface (718716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898239)

... f1rst ps0t !!!!!111!!!1!!!!one!!!!

LOL NIGGERS ARE BLACK LOL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18898243)

LOL NIGGERS ARE BLACK LOL

Good to Hear (4, Interesting)

ror (1068652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898253)

Well that's a result! Hopefully these guys will make good progress. In the end though with net radio streams getting higher and higher quality how long will it be before people use net radio as a content distribution mechanism with an excuse to get around copyright?

Re:Good to Hear (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898343)

Probably not long. I have 140GB of photo's and I cannot 'waste' space on mp3s etc. I regularly use online radio content to listen to my music; often the same songs. It means that I store (perhaps) a cached copy and that's it. Why download hundreds of mp3s when I can listen to the same music streaming from the internet?

Re:Good to Hear (2, Interesting)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898433)

Why download hundreds of mp3s when I can listen to the same music streaming from the internet?
Because iPods don't have wifi yet.

Re:Good to Hear (3, Informative)

thing12 (45050) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898597)

Because iPods don't have wifi yet.
It's bigger than an iPod, but a Treo w/PocketTunes can do streaming audio. With Sprint's Unlimited PowerVision plan you get all you can drink music anywhere they have coverage. Carrying only one device is a nice plus too.

Re:Good to Hear (3, Informative)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898841)

And assuming you'd rather not pay for Sprint/ATT/Verizon/etc.'s high rates for Internet service and just want to use Wifi, there's an app for the DS called DSOrganize that does internet radio as well. Of course, it requires a cart to run it on (I reccomend the R4 or EZFlashV), and they take uSD cards. I bet the PSP can do something like this as well

Re:Good to Hear (1)

CodeArtisan (795142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899591)

And assuming you'd rather not pay for Sprint/ATT/Verizon/etc.'s high rates for Internet service and just want to use Wifi, there's an app for the DS called DSOrganize that does internet radio as well.
I wouldn't call $10 a month for my unlimited Sprint data plan a "high rate". Even now, I think you can pick it up for $15 a month.

Re:Good to Hear (1)

orielbean (936271) | more than 7 years ago | (#18902893)

I concur. However, Verizon's is 40.00 a month for unlimited and they are big jerks. But I tried the treo app and love it. It works very well. Pockettunes is excellent.

Re:Good to Hear (1)

tmasssey (546878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904759)

Two words: Battery life.

You can't pry my Treo 700p from my cold, dead hands, but playing MP3's alone juices the battery in under a day. Add streaming, and I'm lucky to get more than a couple of hours.

So it's great if you only want to listen to music for a little bit. But trying to listen all day is out, unless you want to buy (and carry and keep charged) a bunch of batteries. That's where the iPod has the Treo beat.

Re:Good to Hear (3, Insightful)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899277)

Why download hundreds of mp3s when I can listen to the same music streaming from the internet?

You can listen to the same music whenever you like? I'd like to hear Lucinda William's "Righteously." The version from "Live at the Filmore", not the studio release. Right now. Where do I tune in to hear that?

Got it. (1)

patiodragon (920102) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900109)

"I'd like to hear Lucinda William's "Righteously." The version from "Live at the Filmore", not the studio release. Right now. Where do I tune in to hear that?"

Dial up IAM-INA-HELL. Should be there along with all the other country music....

Re:Got it. (1)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18901193)

Lucinda isn't country, regardless of where some record store decides to stick her cds. She's a lot closer to, say, Eric Clapton than she is to Kenny Chesney.

Re:Got it. (3, Insightful)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904137)

Lucinda Williams *is* country, she's just not the crappy country anyone is allowed to hear on the radio.

She records on Lost Highway records, a country-music label. Headquartered in Nashville, TN.

She's what is often labeled as "alt.country", "americana" and about 100 other labels. Basically it means "country artist who doesn't play the heavily-produced pop country that everyone seem to think is country music these days".

Eric Clapton, being one of the premiere bluesmen alive, is a lot closer to real country music than Kenny Chesney too.

Re:Good to Hear (3, Informative)

dantheman82 (765429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18902275)

There's Rhapsody for that...I've been able to use the 25 free songs streaming per month through them. Listen to pretty much the whole album if you wish...

Here's your link:
http://www.rhapsody.com/lucindawilliams/liveatthef illmore [rhapsody.com]

Re:Good to Hear (2, Informative)

ghuytro (917208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904705)

You can listen to the same music whenever you like? I'd like to hear Lucinda William's "Righteously." The version from "Live at the Filmore", not the studio release. Right now. Where do I tune in to hear that?

I did it in 20 seconds.

Launched Napster and logged into Napster to Go
Searched track "Righteously"
Search result turned up "Righteously [Live (2003/The Fillmore, San Francisco)]"
Clicked play

Thanks for the prod to try this out btw - I hadn't heard the live version of that fabulous song.

Re:Good to Hear (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900033)

because the streams from the net are horrid. I would rather have a portable sirius reciever than use internet streams over a cellphone.

sorry, but none of it compares to a good mp3 player with gobs of music on it, they just cant stream you 384vbr music over a cellphone without problems.

I like to not get a headache from my music, so I carry a mp3 player with high bitrate songs on it.

Re:Good to Hear (1)

jfulcer (864545) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900175)

Why download hundreds of mp3s when I can listen to the same music streaming from the internet?


Because my employer blocks streaming audio feeds like this. Something about lots of employees doing this during the day and chewing up the company's bandwidth that should be for customers (or for /.ing ).

The law requires DRM where possible (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898365)

how long will it be before people use net radio as a content distribution mechanism with an excuse to get around copyright?
In the United States, the compulsory license for webcasting (17 USC 114) applies only if

(vi) the transmitting entity takes no affirmative steps to cause or induce the making of a phonorecord by the transmission recipient, and if the technology used by the transmitting entity enables the transmitting entity to limit the making by the transmission recipient of phonorecords of the transmission directly in a digital format, the transmitting entity sets such technology to limit such making of phonorecords to the extent permitted by such technology

Does it require _effective_ DRM? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18898577)

How about someone who adopts a feeble DRM scheme, just as a ploy to satisfy the letter of the law? In the end, ALL DRM schemes are defeated eventually. Anyone who complains about the insufficiency of a particular webcaster's DRM could be confronted with a list of current workarounds for all of the supposedly current forms of DRM, thus illustrating the foolishness of the concept.

Re:Does it require _effective_ DRM? (3, Funny)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898981)

I understand there's a hackproof encryption scheme called "ROT13" that may be useful for DRM.

Re:Does it require _effective_ DRM? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18899715)

I dunno about hackproof, so I'm going to apply it twice, just to make it harder to crack.

Re:Does it require _effective_ DRM? (2, Funny)

TrebleMaker (628707) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904769)

Plaintext:

I dunno about hackproof, so I'm going to apply it twice, just to make it harder to crack.
Pwned!!11! I M teh 3117 haxxor!

Re:The law requires DRM where possible (1)

Wolfger (96957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18901973)

"to the extent permitted by such technology" is the key phrase in my opinion... but I am not a judge. Since no DRM scheme actually works (if I can play it and hear it, I can copy it), the "extent" is actually null. I somehow doubt the courts will agree with this assessment, though. And how will the courts define "where possible"? I want to open an internet radio station. I have legally purchased songs (about 500 CDs worth, plus some tracks from emusic and some CC stuff), and I'm running Linux. I know of no such DRM-addition tool for Linux, so do I get to stream oggs out to the world? I tend to think the answer to this is no as well.

"directly in a digital format" (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904301)

"to the extent permitted by such technology" is the key phrase in my opinion... but I am not a judge. Since no DRM scheme actually works (if I can play it and hear it, I can copy it)
This paragraph applies to DRM schemes that prohibit reproduction "directly in a digital format". It does not apply to the analog hole, which does not involve reproduction "directly in a digital format".

And how will the courts define "where possible"?
Interpretation of any untested legislation largely depends on who can afford more experienced (read: more expensive) legal counsel.

Re:Good to Hear (4, Insightful)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898465)

What, like people weren't using FM radio as "an excuse to get around copyright" in the 60s and 70s?

Feh!

This "fear" that the great unwashed masses would somehow use netradio as a means to obtain "free" content is the same shibboleth trotted out by the *AAs to enforce unreasonable copyright extension and maintain an outmoded business model whose only design is to continue fattenning the coffers of middlemen and executives, not "The Artists".

Kudos to the representatives for showing a semblance of sanity, brickbats to the Copyright Royalty Board for being the sellouts that they are.

Re:Good to Hear (2, Interesting)

ror (1068652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898595)

FM isn't lossless; It's concievable people will be able to stream lossless audio streams on home connections in the near future. In fact, people could stream multi-track lossless streams. They could stream an entire Album in lossless format in the length for the longest song to play. Multi-track streaming is something that net radio can really offer over traditional radio, with little effort you can have alternate playlists, with the same inter-song content and advertising. However this could be easily set up as a lossless distribution center. I'm not against piracy, but I have my own ideas about how I'd use an excuse of net radio to aid distribution.

Re:Good to Hear (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898665)

FM isn't lossless;


In the 60s and 70s, FM radio, unlike its predecesoor AM radio, was about as close to lossless as it got. That's why the RIAA tried to block the adoption of FM -- people could record music off the air! People would stop buying records!

And net radio, MP3, AAC, etc. aren't lossless either. Sure, there's things like FLAC, but lossless encoding eats up a lot of space and bandwidth very quickly.

Blank Tapes... (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899321)

But they also fought for (and won) a royalty on blank cassettes, resulting in fair compensation for the millions upon millions of mixtapes and such that WERE recorded off the radio. I'm not positive if there's a similar royalty on blank CD media (I seem to remember hearing that there is...) but nowadays, to be analogous (pun?) to the advent of FM and royalties on cassettes, the content companies should get (small) royalty fees for each GB of hard-disk sold. After all, that is the predominant storage mechanism for digital music and internet radio streams.

Re:Blank Tapes... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899413)

I'm not sure what country you're from, but in the USA there is no levy on any analog recording devices or media. There is a 2% levy on digital recording devices and media.

Re:Blank Tapes... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18902529)

There is a 2% levy on digital recording devices and media.


Which doesn't apply for all devices and media... it depends on how the media is marketed. For instance, the 2% levy doesn't apply for all CD-Rs -- only those marketed as 'music CD-Rs'. In fact, the only difference between regular CD-Rs and 'music CD-Rs' is the 2% levy.

Re:Blank Tapes... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18901585)

The problem is the blank CD is one step too far. The digital media exists on your hard drive, you don't need to burn a CD to listen to it. Audio cassettes back in the day, that was your storage medium... you went straight from FM to tape with no temporary storage. You couldn't store an hour of audio in limbo like you can today with computers.

I think what we'll see is a shift in the money pyramid in the world of radio. On the net, content is free, and advertising pays the bills. Maybe the recording industry will have to quit taxing everyone, turn itself into an ad agency and cut out the middlemen. Make advertising income, use some of it to fund studios to produce the content that plays on your radio stations, and have the DJ drop names and air those stupid jingles like they've always been doing. That's how it works in the rest of the civilized world.

Re:Good to Hear (2, Insightful)

jhfry (829244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900581)

Actually... no digital media is lossless... its sampled from an analog source, so by definition it cannot be lossless.

The only way you will ever hear your favorite artist, in truely lossless format, is to be in the same room with them and hear them.

Don't trust amplification systems either... many of these use circuits that will clip or otherwise distort the analog signal, reducing it's fidelity.

In truth, unless you have the rare opportunity to hear your favorite artist perform acoustically in a non amplified listening situation, you will never hear them in lossless format!

Lossless only means being able to reproduce an identical input by reversing the process used to create the output. So sure, I could make a lossless recording of any source... but if the source sucks, who cares.

I am perfectly OK with the RIAA enforcing a bitrate cap for streaming audio of the works they represent, as long as it's comparable in quality with FM radio. It meets the needs of a casual listener, while still giving the fan a incentive to buy.

Re:Good to Hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18899255)

"This "fear" that the great unwashed masses would somehow use netradio as a means to obtain "free" content"

Good that it's generally agreed that netradio who use content produced by others should have to pay for it if those others want payment or would alternatively have to choose not to use that content. There could be misunderstandings going around that obtaining free content, without the hyphens (free rather than "free") is what the desire is.

"to enforce unreasonable copyright extension and maintain an outmoded business model whose only design is to continue fattenning the coffers of middlemen and executives, not "The Artists".

I hereby declare that the OSTG organisational model is outdated and based on principles left behind a decade ago. Therefore, all statements, claims and copyrights of the OSTG and any organisational rights they claim are hereby null and void. The first thing I will do is send out a press release on behalf of the OSTG that the group is dissolved.

I suppose you disagree, that rather than saying _my_ opinion of outmoded models is valid, it is rather _your_ opinion of outmoded that is valid. Given the absence of application of universal laws in both instances, I suppose the only way to settle it is with sticks and stones.

It is, in fact, either universal laws or sticks and stones. Opinion alone equals the latter.

Re:Good to Hear (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899299)

This "fear" that the great unwashed masses would somehow use netradio as a means to obtain "free" content is the same shibboleth trotted out by the *AAs to enforce unreasonable copyright extension

You don't get to work "shibboleth" into conversation very often.

But on the subject, I'm sure they'll find a way of hating "Hi-Definition" radio, too.

Re:Good to Hear (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899797)

You don't get to work "shibboleth" into conversation very often.

Nor do the opportunities to do so alliteratively present themselves often. '^)

Re:Good to Hear (1)

Eagleartoo (849045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900189)

But on the subject, I'm sure they'll find a way of hating "Hi-Definition" radio, too.


HD radio is actually an acronym for hybrid digital. The station continues to broadcast the analogue signal but if you have a digital radio receiver you can hear something more similar to mp3s on up to four bands on 1 frequency. The signal is clearer than regular analogue and has no static. It's pretty cool because they can even broadcast IDE tags so you can look at your Radio if you have a display and see what's playing.

Re:Good to Hear (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18902623)

It's pretty cool because they can even broadcast IDE tags so you can look at your Radio if you have a display and see what's playing.

Ever heard of RDS [wikipedia.org] ? I get artist and track information on my non-HD radio already.

Re:Good to Hear (1)

sheepweevil (1036936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899637)

The difference is that recording from the radio on the airwaves is extremely lossy most of the time: this is why it was allowed to tape from the radio (I believe). Recording from internet radio, on the other hand, can be an exact replica of the original file.

Re:Good to Hear (0, Flamebait)

lixee (863589) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898897)

What are you? Stupid? How's net radio any different from other types of radio?

People who want get around copyright, will get around it. They never needed excuses for doing that.

Re:Hear this - Snaptune One (1)

greyfeld (521548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18903735)

Apparently you've never heard of Snaptune One [snaptune.com] . It will record the streaming audio for you, go out and identify songs and then you can import them into iTunes or use something like SoundForge to convert them to the format of your choice. The song identification needs some work and takes time, but you can always identify them yourself. Take a look. I think you will like it. Oh yeah and it's free!

You can also combine it with an usb FM tuner to record local programs. I used to record our local college hoops games from the radio when I couldn't watch or listen and then import them to my ipod and listen later.

Sometimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18898255)

your government representatives do you proud. Way to be Jay. Good deeds don't go unnoticed when I'm bubbling in my absentee ballot. Way to be.

I hope so. (1)

Tecnolife (969165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898257)

I wish them luck, but with the apparant stupidity reigning on the board for the trouble to have been passed in the first place, this may very well have trouble getting passed.

Write your Rep. (1)

What Is Dot (792062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898379)

I wrote a "short" letter about how our congress is mishandling a number of Internet issues. I highly suggest that our fellow Slashdotters do the same. =) http://www.house.gov/writerep/ [house.gov]

Re:Write your Rep. (1)

914 (88354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900165)

Here's the text of the comment i just submitted....

I am writing today to urge you to support a bill introduced by two of your collegues, Rep. Jay inslee (D-WA) and Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL). Their proposed "Internet and Radio Equality Act" is a positive step forward for musical artists, small webcasters and your Maryland consitiuents.

Currently, small webcasters are under the threat of extinction due to the obviously RIAA, big-industry motivated ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board which would increase their royalties/fees by 300 to 1200 percent, retroactively back to 2006. This will immediately bankrupt many small, vibrant and diverse webcasters and will result in an immediate negative impact for music lovers in Maryland and the United States.

By implementing the proposed bill, webcaster royalties would be set at the same level as satellite radio broadcasters, which seems to be a wholly fair and appropriate given the similarities between the technologies.

Skepticism (4, Interesting)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898517)

"If passed, today's bill would set new rates at 7.5 percent of the webcaster's revenue -- the same rate paid by satellite radio."
My first question would be "what were the rates/pay scheme before this whole mess with CRB's decision was imposed?" Are we really seeing a good decision, or are we seeing an attempt to dupe people into seeing a good decision while still getting some of the increase those who convinced the CRB, wanted to see?

Re:Skepticism (4, Interesting)

ps236 (965675) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898675)

It sounds pretty much like what the webcasters wanted. They wanted a reasonable percentage of their revenue as the smaller webcasters have had previously. I can't remember exactly what it was previously but it was around the 6-10% mark IIRC.

The problem with the CRBs desire was that they wanted around 110% of the webcasters' revenue.... I looked at the figures, and although the royalty per 'performance' looked teeny, once you added it up it was pretty obvious there was no way that amount could be earned by advertising, the webcasters would have to either have a second method of income (as Yahoo, AOL etc do), or charge a quite large subscription ($20-ish per month)

Personally I don't have a problem with a royalty per performance, but it had to be at least an order of magnitude lower than the proposed royalty scheme. The problem (from RIAAs POV) with 'percentage of revenue' is that a webcaster who has a very low revenue (eg a hobbyist webcaster) essentially pays no royalties at all.

If this "percentage of revenue" proposal does go through, then I hope the RIAA learn (but doubt they will) and the next time this comes up they come up with something more reasonable and less greedy and manipulative. If they'd proposed a royalty per performance scheme of 1/10th their actual proposal, then the chances are most webcasters would have accepted it without much more than a grumble, and the RIAA would get more than they would with a 7.5% of revenue scheme..

Re:Skepticism (1)

ps236 (965675) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898791)

Just found http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/02/11/15/ 021115hnwebcasters.html?s=IDGNS [infoworld.com] about the "Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002" - this defined charges for small webcasters from 2002 to 2005. From that it looks like they paid 10% of revenue.

So, if they now only have to pay 7.5% of revenue, I think they'll be quite happy (and the RIAA will be spitting...)

Re:Skepticism (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18901707)

"If this "percentage of revenue" proposal does go through..."

So...if this goes through, and you are an webcaster, that does NOT generate any revenue, you can broad cast songs and all for free?

Re:Skepticism (1)

ps236 (965675) | more than 7 years ago | (#18902059)

That's the downside (from the RIAA's point of view).

You still have to pay composers' royalties, and the cost of bandwidth, hardware, purchasing the music etc in the first place, so, if you get no revenue at all, you'll be spending a lot of your own money.

Re:Skepticism (1)

psydeshow (154300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18903391)

Yeah, not actually seeing what the problem is here.

The guys who turn up their car stereos in my neighborhood don't pay royalties, even though plenty of people hear the music.

If you're not trying to make money off of someone else's work, and you're not trying to claim it as your own, who freekin' cares what you do with it?

Re:Skepticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18903763)

The RIAA, the MPAA, patent holders, copyright holders etc.

Let's run a litle calculation. (5, Informative)

LullySing (164221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898705)

--- a snip from savenetradio.org----
On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio's royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry's future.

At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America, the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further. The 2005 royalty rate was 7/100 of a penny per song streamed; the 2010 rate will be 19/100 of a penny per song streamed. And for small webcasters that were able to calculate royalties as a percentage of revenue in 2005 - that option was quashed by the CRB, so small webcasters' royalties will grow exponentially!

Before this ruling was handed down, the vast majority of webcasters were barely making ends meet as Internet radio advertising revenue is just beginning to develop. Without a doubt most Internet radio services will go bankrupt and cease webcasting if this royalty rate is not reversed by the Congress,
----- end snip-----

well, lemme give you an idea, ok ?

Say that you got a small internet radio channel that handles on average 150-200 users per hours ( approx user count for all 24 hours... peaks at 500ish, 10-15 users in the wee hours... so say, for all practical purposes you ot a constant 175 users, k?) . Because you're barely making any money off this thing ( say you're "making" $100-200ish a month after paying for equipment, band, coffee, ramen, etc etc) you had the exemption that made it you paid a fraction of your revenues to the RIAA. But hey, you're still making peanuts here, so it's all good.

Suddenly the rules change. Let's run a quick and dirty calculation on what you suddenly owe the RIAA here...
175 users * 8 songs and hour * 0.0018 $ ( that's per song streamed) = 2.52$ So that's 2 bucks fifty an hour.
multiply by 24 hours, times the number of days in a month ( say 30) and you get.... 1814,40$ that you owe to the RIAA... PER MONTH.

Can you say ouch ? for a guy that was barely making ends meet, and making just enough to take out his girlfriend to a fancy dinner once in a while ( if nothing breaks) you went down to actually owning money for running a small net radio station.

Now you understand why the "percentage of revenues" is something small webcasters want.

Re:Let's run a litle calculation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18898921)

Good post, except it's not the RIAA that collects royalties, it's soundscan.

Re:Let's run a litle calculation. (1)

LullySing (164221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899029)

woops....my bad. but yeah, this is the idea anyhow. The " collection agency" can change name however you want, the end result stays the same.

Re:Let's run a litle calculation. (1)

Flaming Foobar (597181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899231)

Fine calculations, but... If you have an average of 175 of users listening all the time, wouldn't it mean you have probably thousands of listeners altogether? 2k doesn't sound that much if there are, say, 3000+ regular subscribers. Get a sponsor and you've pretty much made the money.

Re:Let's run a litle calculation. (1)

LullySing (164221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900455)

Not for that small audience. Nowhere is a sponsor is gonna pay that amount for a small radio station, per month . And unless you offer "plus value" ( aka better stream quality.. which costs more money/band) forget about selling subscriptions.

Re:Let's run a litle calculation. (1)

milkman_matt (593465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18902169)

Even in that case, you'd think any reasonable business focused on long term profits would rather have a small piece of 1000 stations than a large piece of the 100 that are left after the smaller ones are forced out of business by jacking up the rates to an unreasonable number. Another thing is if they make it reasonable to make a station, by charging stations based on a % of profits, then that encourages MORE stations to come up because they see that they can afford it. More stations = More small profits, eventually they're rolling in cash because the number of stations has tripled and now they're getting 7% on 3000 stations instead of a large piece of a few hundred right?

Re:Skepticism (1)

sofla (969715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899801)

The information I've seen is that the new rates are 3x-5x what the old rates were. No, I don't recall where I saw it, might have been somewhere on savenetradio.org. I think the answer to your question is, "it depends", since it sounds like the pricing model has changed from per-listener-per-song to percent-total-revenue.

Regardless, its probably a smart move to make the rates consistent with what satellite radio pays, and a % revenue model won't shut down small broadcasters as easily as a flat rate would. It also takes away any possibility that the CRB might again try to use this tactic to shutdown Internet radio in favor of the commercial outlets.

What about Radio (1)

thbigr (514105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898581)

Does any one know how much airwave radio pays to play a song? Is it also by estimated listener? Or coverage of population of signal?

Re:What about Radio (5, Informative)

ps236 (965675) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898699)

They pay NO performance royalties at all - that's the problem.

Satellite pay 7.5% of revenue as performance royalties
The CRB wanted webcasters to pay around 100-125% of revenue as performance royalties
Radio stations pay 0% as performance royalties.

Re:What about Radio (0)

BlackRookSix (943957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899063)

I thought most stations were chains that were owned by the recording labels anyway. No, I'm serious. People joke/gripe about that being true, but I was sure that this was the reason behind 'Hit' stations and 'Top 40' stations having to stick to specific song lists, certain play rates, etc. If they aren't owned outright by the labels, they are certainly acting like they have very tight contractual agreements.

So 'taxing' the stations they own/have in their pocket would go counter to their business agreements, yes? The stations would rebel (those that aren't legally obligated or owned).

Re:What about Radio (1)

thbigr (514105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899145)

Finaly got busy and did a web search. Radio doesn;t pay performance royalties, but the do pay: "..While traditional terrestrial radio does pay songwriter/publishing royalties for the musical work itself..."

Very strange that web radio is viewed differently. Also very wrong.

Re:What about Radio (1)

ps236 (965675) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899259)

But.. webcasters & satellite radio pay songwriter royalties as well as performance royalties.

No one is arguing about that, songwriter royalties have always been paid, and everyone pays the same, and no one seems to be upset by that.

It is wrong that web radio is viewed differently - that's why this bill is called the 'Internet Radio Equality Act'

Re:What about Radio (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899155)

Actually, I hear [wikipedia.org] they pay less than nothing.

Is there still time? (4, Informative)

jddj (1085169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898645)

The new rates go into effect May 15 and are expected to instantly bankrupt most small web broadcasters (because they're retroactive to January, 2006).

In the mean time, this bill has to get out of committee, be voted on and passed by the house, get to the president's desk either on its own or tacked on to another bill, and then get signed.

That's a lot to get right fast. And the bill will no doubt face fierce lobbying opposition from the music industry suits trying to get internet radio shut down.

Props to these congressmen for setting up a bill on this, but...we're not there yet.

Re:Is there still time? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898717)

I heard about this yesterday on Radio Paradise [radioparadise.com] (and submitted it). They are hoping that the bill will pass in the House before the deadline. If this happens, then they hope to get a reprieve until it's been heard in the Senate before they have to pay the royalties. I hope it passes, since I listen to Radio Paradise and WCPE [theclassicalstation.org] quite often, but since I'm not in the USA I can't do much directly since it's nothing to do with my elected representatives.

Re:Is there still time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18898775)

The new rates go into effect May 15 and are expected to instantly bankrupt most small web broadcasters (because they're retroactive to January, 2006).

You know, you really have to wonder how these people make money! What sense is there in bankrupting the people who disseminate your product? They might make money in the short term (riiiight, try collecting from a bankrupt company) but long term?

Re:Is there still time? (1)

Anivair (921745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899411)

umm . . . correct me if I'm wrong here, but how exactly is this going ot control internet radio? The internet isn't housed in the USA. If you were an internet radio company, would you not just move your office to a sane country and continue as before?

Ah! Another case of "daddy I want a pony" (3, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898677)

When little Nancy wanted a dog, she went to her father and said "daddy, I want a pony". Her father looked at Nancy and smiled and said "Nancy, horses cost a lot of money". But Nancy persisted "DADDY,I WANT A PONY". Her father frowned a bit "Nancy, besides costing so much, we'd need a stable and the horse would have to be trained and cared for".

So Nancy threw herself on the ground started crying, screaming and kicking "DADDY, I WANT A PONY. WAAAH".

In desperation, the father said "Nancy, how about a nice dog instead?".

And with that, Nancy smiled and went back to her room. She got the dog she wanted in the first place.

Re:Ah! Another case of "daddy I want a pony" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18898821)

Unfortunately, this is the US federal government we're dealing with.

Nancy asked for a pony, and probably got all the kings horses(and all his men).

Re:Ah! Another case of "daddy I want a pony" (1)

Enry (630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898909)

Having worked for a federal department in the past, the GP is absolutely correct.

Every budget is padded by 15-20% with the expectation that it would be slashed by 15-20%, leaving them with close to what they wanted in the first place. I'd guess that higher-profile departments (DHS, Defense), get what they want by just asking.

Re:Ah! Another case of "daddy I want a pony" (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899151)

Actually, I read the entire ruling. The _only_ thing the content owners asked for and didn't get was a 25% premium for any content streamed to a mobile device.

Using your analogy:

The content owners asked for a pony. With a new barn, and tack, and a nice new trailer. Because, you see, they said that's really what they deserve. The webcasters said they could do a dog, as that's about what every other little girl on the block had, and they just didn't make enough money to buy a pony and everything that went with it.

The CRB told the webcasters that they were to by the content owners their pony, along with the barn and tack they'd picked out, but they should get a used trailer.

Re:Ah! Another case of "daddy I want a pony" (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899743)

You make it sound so negative! We do the same thing. We oppose every single abridgement to our freedoms with much gusto, yet we know, deep down, that we will have to reach a compromise. We can't specify a reasonable compromise that we'd be happy with, because it would be whittled down to something we would not accept.

Not to mention, it's simply wrong to say the RIAA only wanted what they got. They wanted what they asked for in the first place. They just knew they wouldn't get it.

Re:Ah! Another case of "daddy I want a pony" (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900911)

Communications and rhetoric courses talk about this -- and they have a specific name for the tactic, but I can't remember it right now. Anyway, they invariably discuss the most famous case of this: Watergate, where the initial proposal by Liddy and Haldeman sounded, to them, likely to be shot down, so instead they came up with an elaborate proposal that involved ferrying people around in helicopters and speedboats, and when they presented it, Nixon argued that it was stupid, and they ended up compromising on a simple burglary. It's a good argumentation technique for people who cheat at rhetoric (and are prepared.)

Great news for non-profits (3, Informative)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898685)

This would be a wonderful change for public, non-profit, and college radio stations who broadcast on the airwaves as well as maintain a web stream. While the current web rate per song is pretty bad, it is the requirement that all songs need to be logged that is really making it difficult for these stations to keep their web streams up, since they don't often have the all-digital systems / small libraries of commercial ventures. It is almost as if the current legislation was drafted to prevent these types of stations from (legally) offering their content online.

This would blow away the reporting requirement and most of the fees for these stations. Fees could be easily calculated based on the small amount of revenue the stations generate. My only worry is that this amount might be higher than the per-song rate for commercial stations, and government loves business...

WTF? It will kill them... not help them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18900073)

it's .0018 cents per song per listener retroactive.

It's NOT 7.5% like you assume, the article was just using that as a typical example. The problem is that most small webcasters have NO income and barely pay the bandwidth as it is. So in reality this "7.5%" is really 100-140% of their "income"

7.5% * $0 = $0 (1)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900875)

No income = $0
Royalty rate = 7.5% income
7.5% * $0 = $0

It's nearly unthinkable that an agreement will be reached with these terms and no other provisions, but these are the terms the article provides. I'm sure there will be a separate provision for non-profits. But if passed in this form, it would be a GREAT thing for non-profit / no income webcasters.

Quality of the Broadcast (1)

ColeonyxOnline (966334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898929)

Maybe they could just require the station to broadcast at a really low quality. That would discourage most from recording and burning it on a CD or transferring it to their mp3 players.

Re:Quality of the Broadcast (1)

BlackRookSix (943957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899011)

...and most from listening.

Re:Quality of the Broadcast (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899077)

Maybe they could just require the station to broadcast at a really low quality. That would discourage most from recording and burning it on a CD or transferring it to their mp3 players.

... or listening.

Re:Quality of the Broadcast (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899169)

I guess "really low" is relative but that's effectively what DI.FM is doing with 96k stream and 320k paid downloads and the subscription premium service.

I know we all love the Register and all, but my first thought was that we have to link to a UK site to get news of an anti-megacorporate bill here in the U.S.? I know, I know. Typical now.

Re:Quality of the Broadcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18899309)

24kbps music is sufficient enuff and enjoyable to listen.. that's what most of net radio broadcast now.. and how low could it be?

Re:Quality of the Broadcast (1)

ps236 (965675) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899307)

Webcasters already do broadcast at low quality - eg 128kbps.

A CD is about 1,400kbps - that's over 10 times more quality than a webcaster transmits on a typical 'high quality' stream.

According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , 96kbps is 'FM quality', so a 128kbps stream isn't that much higher, and the 64kbps stream that lots of webcasters use is actually lower quality than FM radio by this metric...

Re:Quality of the Broadcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18899867)

Wow! TEN times the quality?!?

How could I have not noticed that when switching from listening to CDs to 128k MP3s?

I run a net radio station (2, Interesting)

fury88 (905473) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899279)

I run one of the more popular net electronic stations out there and I am of course glad to see this. I am also an artist and I have no problems with equality on the internet. It's clearly the way to go and I think people will becoming more creative with out to make money out of net radio. Right now I am not profitable at all. I split the cost with 3 guys and I carry most of the load of maintenance.

retroactively?? (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899325)

The whole idea of changing the rules then penalizing you from actions in the past should be banned.

How the hell are you supposed to predict when congress will get a burr up its butt add that to your future business plan so you don't get put out of business ( or goto jail )?

Re:retroactively?? (3, Informative)

ameoba (173803) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900081)

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a law on the books against this [usconstitution.net] already?

Re:retroactively?? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900229)

Since when has the US Constitution meant much to the government? For as long as i have been alive they just 'interpret' it away when its inconvenient to them.

Re:retroactively?? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900975)

The whole idea of changing the rules then penalizing you from actions in the past should be banned.

It already is. Article I of the Constitution forbids the federal and state governments from passing any ex post facto law.

The court system generally doesn't mind the practice, though, if there is no penalty attached; if citizens benefit from retroactive application of a new law, it's often allowed. So if internet broadcasters were compelled to pay higher royalty rates under existing law, and this new law reduces their rates, that's probably not problematic.

Uhh, wait....what? (1)

tacokill (531275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18902445)

I think it is banned, at least in the context of criminal law. I can't remember the legal term but there is a legal concept in the US that "new" laws can not punish you for past behavior that WAS legal.

It's where the term "grandfathered in" came from back in the slave days. Once slavery was abolished, slave owners could not be prosecuted for violations in the past (that were legal when they were committed).

Can someone help fill in the rest?

Grandfather clauses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18903689)

Err, as I recall, grandfather clauses were once (originally?) used to keep black people from voting.

Once blacks became free men (I say 'men' because women weren't exactly 'free' then), they wanted to keep them from voting, so they passed a law saying that you couldn't vote unless your grandfather had been able to.

I don't remember how they were eventually ended, but I know that at some point, all sorts of quizzes, poll taxes and the like were abolished, because all of them had been used to keep "undesirables" from voting (mind you, the quizzes and taxes were quite unfair; they'd make them more difficult and higher depending on how much they didn't want you to vote).

Re:retroactively?? (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18903729)

The whole idea of changing the rules then penalizing you from actions in the past should be banned.

It was banned. The Constitution explicitly prohibits ex post facto laws.

Of course, the Constitution explicitly prohibits a lot of stuff that the government does with impunity these days.

Re:retroactively?? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904379)

My comment was more sarcasm then anything else. I know its banned in writing, but that doesnt stop our leaders from ignoring it.

Re:retroactively?? (1)

StoneTempest (920838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904905)

The whole idea of changing the rules then penalizing you from actions in the past should be banned.
Actually, it is [wikipedia.org] .

IANAL, so maybe Congress is using some trick to get around this, but officially ex post facto [wikipedia.org] laws are prohibited by the Constitution of the US.

What constitues a "broadcast" (1)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899959)

You know, this got me thinking... from what I understand, you must pay a portion of your revenue (7.5%) to the RIAA. So, what pray tell would happen if you streamed something for free... ie sans revenue? And what constitutes braodcasting? Does a torrent of my songs? What about files to individually download? Most would say that no, that isn't it, because the content must be streamed (i.e. in real time with buffering) but we all know that streamed content still has to be stored locally somewhere. So, what exactly is the diff? And how can they make a law that basically shoots themselves in the foot?

Re:What constitues a "broadcast" (2, Interesting)

adwarf (1002867) | more than 7 years ago | (#18901201)

You have to put in some protections, like you can't let someone choose their song 'on demand.' Which means you must limit the amount of songs a person can skip, you can't let them rewind or replay something that streamed. You also have to make a reasonable effort to prevent copying. I'm sure there are more rules those are just the ones I know off the top of my head.

AWESOME f1p.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18900553)

bring your 6own [goat.cx]

miod Down (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18900915)

This provides a simple solution: (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18902819)

7.5% of 0.
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