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Day of Silence On the Internet

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the silence-speaks-louder-than-tracks dept.

Music 276

A number of readers sent in stories about Net radio going dark for a day. Not all of it, but according to the Globe and Mail at least 45 stations representing thousands of channels. The stations are protesting a ruling establishing royalty rates that will put most of them out of business on July 15. "The ruling... is expected to cost large webcasters such as Yahoo and Real Networks millions of dollars, drive smaller websites like Pandora.com and Live365.com out of business and leave a large chunk of the 72 million Net radio listeners in the dark." SaveNetRadio has a page where US residents can locate their senators and representatives to call them today.

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276 comments

How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653731)

I am a geek, net-literate guy who is TOTALLY lost on this whole issue. I've tried following it, and it's as confusing and muddy as the "net neutrality" issue. Even the debates about it I've seen have been obtuse and confusing.

Is this the result of a ruling, a law, or a company decision? Who exactly has to pay and who doesn't? What do they have to pay? Why do they have to pay it? To whom do they pay it, and why them? Where they paying before? Is it a matter of amount or are they challenging having to pay at all?

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (5, Informative)

Kindgott (165758) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653889)

Ok here we go:

The Copyright Royalties Board recently (March 2, 2007) enacted new regulations which increase the "royalties" owed by internet broadcasters; instead of paying .007 cents per song streamed, the new rates go up to .019 centes by 2010. These rate changes are also retroactive to something like the beginning of this year. Also, there is apparently a $500 per channel minimum, in case your station is too small to generate enough revenue.

From what I understand, the "per song streamed" is calculated not by just how many songs you broadcast, but also how many listeners you had for each particular song. So if 10 people listened to a 30 Seconds From Mars track, it would count as 10 songs, not 1.

Who gets the money? SoundExchange. Under such protest, the generously offered webcasters the gracious offer of being able to pay the reduced rates for a little longer than originally scheduled. How nice of them!

Basically it boils down to the fact that terrestrial broadcasters pay no royalties whatsoever to the recording companies, but the recording industry wants to extort as much money as they can from the internet music business. Which, in turn, will most likely drive most internet radio out of the game.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (1)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654085)

I heard that SoundExchange is part of the RIAA and if the person who holds the rights to the music wants to collect their share they must join the RIAA. Is this true?

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (4, Interesting)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654093)

Basically it boils down to the fact that terrestrial broadcasters pay no royalties whatsoever to the recording companies, but the recording industry wants to extort as much money as they can from the internet music business.

One thing I don't understand is why the terrestrial broadcasters don't pay royalties in the US. AFAIK then do in most other counties. They certainly do in the UK. Anyone know?

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (4, Informative)

kcurtis (311610) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654169)

Because it has long long been considered to be more profitable for broadcasters to play the songs for free with the thought that listeners would buy the music, attend concerts, get a t-shirt, etc.

So much so that there have been many, many "payola" scandals, including in the past year, where the broadcasters are paid kickbacks (through tickets, cash, gifts) to play particular songs and artists.

The fact that this system would probably work out for the music industry when it comes to internet music is being ignored -- as has long been noted here on slashdot.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654445)

However it's so easy to set up an internet radio station that anybody could do it. This creates thousands of more stations all with different owners. It's one thing for the RIAA to pay off ClearChannel to get their songs played on every second terrestrial radio station. It's another thing entirely to try to work out deals with thousands of independent online radio stations, many of which are probably against the RIAA, and would use any attempt to make a deal as a way to show just how evil they are.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654455)

I can almost see the recording industry's logic here. Play time on terrestrial radio is a scarce resource, and so it's in their interests to get as much of it as they can, without charging. Play time on internet radio is not, since anyone can set up a new internet radio station, so it makes some sense to handle them differently.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (3, Informative)

Kindgott (165758) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654317)

Terrestrial stations pay the publishers and composters of the music they play, but are not required to pay the record label or the artists.

The basic reasoning behind this is that it is a mutually beneficial situation where airplay increases record sales for the label and tour attendance for the artists.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (4, Interesting)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654255)

I have a feeling that the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) that represent terrestrial radio is partially behind this. Recently, they've seen competition increase significantly with MP3 players like the iPod, satellite radio, and Internet radio. The NAB is already trying to limit their competition by lobbying against the merger of the satellite radio companies, Sirius and XM, which are both taking massive losses. I wouldn't be surprised if they're behind an attempt to kill Internet radio.

I don't know about you guys, but I've completely stopped listening to regular radio. To me, regular radio has degenerated into commercials and the same 10 songs in repeat. Now I listen to my iPod on my commute to work. I'm very sure that many people are doing the same.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654697)

Basically it boils down to the fact that terrestrial broadcasters pay no royalties whatsoever to the recording companies, but the recording industry wants to extort as much money as they can from the internet music business. Which, in turn, will most likely drive most internet radio out of the game.

Well (stating the obvious) I think the record companies are a bit torn and have a love-hate relationship with the internet. On the one hand, they love the idea of cutting distribution costs and creating new channels for advertising and distribution. On the other hand, the internet creates a decentralized means of marketing and distribution that they can't necessarily control or profit from. The internet threatens to make them less powerful and even perhaps obsolete.

Because of all this, they tend to want to invest in the Internet, but also they want to tear it apart and prevent people from using it. Normal broadcasters are different. They're mostly owned by a few big companies with tight business ties to the record industry. Regular broadcasters can be controlled and manipulated by their business interests, but internet broadcasters are able to be more independent. Driving Internet radio out of the game and forcing listeners back to normal radio is purposeful. Make it more expensive to run an Internet broadcast, and then only big media companies will be able to afford to run them. Control goes back to big media.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (5, Informative)

Slushie31 (857901) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653901)

IANA*, but here's my understanding of the matter. In March, the Copyright Royalty Board [wikipedia.org] set new royalty rates for Internet radio broadcasters. The rate increase has been delayed once, but is currently to go into effect on July 15. There are three parts to this:
  1. A fee is levied to a broadcaster, per song per listener. The fee also increases every year (as far as I understand, there was a fee previously, but it is being increased).
  2. The fee is retroactive to January 2006, due immediately when the rate increases go into effect.
  3. There is a minimum fee of $500 per year.
Because of these changes (which are not applicable to terrestrial or satellite radio broadcasters), many webcasters will be forced to shut down on July 15 because they will not have the revenue to pay the new fees (ie. they will go bankrupt).

Instead, the Internet Radio Equality Act [wikipedia.org] proposes a lower royalty fee (0.33 cents per hour per listener) or a revenue sharing agreement.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (1)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654047)

The important part of all this is the REVENUE SHARING part. Most of the Internet radio stations make no money. Take 15% (or whatever) of my revenue. It's still 0. The revenue sharing option is (if nothing changes) going away. This is what kills all the smaller stations. I'm sure some stations actually make money and want to do the other options (which increased dramatically), but I really think it's the revenue sharing part that was going to kill most of the stations.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (3, Interesting)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654131)

Because of these changes (which are not applicable to terrestrial or satellite radio broadcasters),

Keep in mind that both XM and Sirius have contracts with the RIAA that requires them to pay a percentage of subscription fees. So no, they're not paying the same fee, but they do pay a significant fee.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (3, Informative)

palewook (1101845) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654175)

3. There is a minimum fee of $500 per year. Actually there is a minimum fee per channel to collect the fees per year. So if you go to Pandora and listen to 1 song all year, it costs them 500.33 for that. Its bizarro rates. No other format that broadcasts music is being charged the new rates. If you have a terrestrial radio station, you are exempt from the net rates also. Even if you decide to broadcast on the net. Etc. CBS lined up for their free legislation pie when it bought last.fm which isn't US based.

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654209)

The fee is retroactive to January 2006,



Ex-post facto regulations are illegal under the Constitution...

Once again, this is a problem caused by the Jew (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654053)

Greedy Jews ruin everything they think they can make a profit on.

If only there was some kind of final solution to this problem.

Re:Once again, this is a problem caused by the Jew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654141)

Is that you Bobby Fischer?

Re:Once again, this is a problem caused by the Jew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654437)

It was Jimmy Carter.

Re:Once again, this is a problem caused by the Jew (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654657)

Actually I'm just your average Palestinian.

The Jews took my land. The Jews killed my father.

Now the Jews want to kill internet radio.

Maby that will teach you what a menace these greedy rats are.

Here's the short, short version AFAICT (5, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654157)

Okay, here's what I understand of it.

In the beginning. Prior to 1995, you could 'perform' music in public, via digital broadcasting, without paying any royalties on it. I'm a little fuzzy on exactly what you used to have to pay royalties for (Wikipedia says there was "no performance right" for artists, but that doesn't make a lot of sense, I remember performance-rights cases prior to '95; I think it was just a digital thing), but anyway, in 1995 Congress passed a law granting rightsholders control over the digital 'performance' of their works. The upshot of this was that anyone distributing music digitally now had to pay 'performance' royalties for it.

Obviously, trying to pay royalties directly to the owner of each piece of music that you might play on a radio station would be problematic. It would require negotiating a license with each rightsholder, for each work, for every station. The paperwork and negotiations would be crippling. So a provision was made for so-called 'statutory licenses,' basically blanket licenses that you buy from an organization who takes the proceeds and divides them up among artists. (Blanket broadcast licenses like this aren't a new thing, but this extended them to digital broadcasting.) In return, you can play whatever you want, without worrying about negotiating individual contracts. The cost and rate structure of these licenses is set, theoretically, by the U.S. Copyright Office.

Enter SoundExchange. The RIAA [1] has a division/subsidiary/department-of-evil called "SoundExchange", which is designated, by the U.S. Copyright Office, as the sole supplier of "statutory licenses" for digital music. So if you wanted to run an internet radio station or other digital broadcast, and weren't going to stick to just playing independent artists who have relinquished some of their rights to public performance, you needed to go to SoundExchange and buy a license. While philosophically objectionable to many (including many artists!) because of the metrics they use to distribute the fees, SoundExchange had licensing terms that weren't horrific, including some that were based on a percentage-of-revenue (I've heard 10-13% quoted). So if you were running a small-time internet radio station, the fees wouldn't break the bank. This has been the status quo for a while now.

The Rubber Stamp. The current controversy started a while back, when SoundExchange proposed, and the Copyright Office approved, a dramatic rate hike. Among other things, the new rates eliminated the percent-of-revenue model, replacing it instead with a per-song-per-listener model, combined with a minimum per-channel fee, and a bunch of other onerous terms (including making the fees retroactive to some point in the past, which would instantly force any station without large cash reserves out of existence). The bottom line was that under the new fees, most small internet radio stations -- particularly those who have lots of channels tailored to particular musical tastes or genres -- just wouldn't be able to pay the bills. The effect as far as I can tell, would be to make Internet radio much like terrestrial broadcast radio: dominated by a few corporate-backed players (e.g., Last.fm), with a small number of channels playing basically the same thing. The new rates, if nothing happens to forestall them, go into effect around the middle of next month.

[1] Okay, allegedly it's "independent" now. Riiight...

Re:Here's the short, short version AFAICT (1)

Incompetnce (1108013) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654559)

This is wonderfully informative and all, but one thing is missing. No explanation is given as to why SoundExchange is pushing for this massive hike. Now, as all of slashdot knows the RIAA and anything associated with them at any point in the past is pure evil, but what excuses did SoundExchange give for demanding such a massive price rise?

Re:How about a day of EXPLANATION?!?! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654203)

Is this the result of a ruling, a law, or a company decision?
A senate committee made the ruling from pressure from the RIAA.

Who exactly has to pay and who doesn't?
This applies only to "internet radio."

What do they have to pay? Why do they have to pay it? To whom do they pay it, and why them? Where they paying before? Is it a matter of amount or are they challenging having to pay at all?
They were already paying, and they have to pay it to the RIAA as copyright licensing fees, the copyright holders. The fees they have to pay are 300% of the prior amount, and are retroactive for 18 months. Also, a $500 minimum fee is applied to each "station." This means that if an internet radio company, like Pandora, allows you to have 1 customized station (in reality they allow you to have dozens) that each user costs $500. That means, 2 million users cost 1 billion dollars. In every way, shape and form, the point of the fees is to kill internet radio by making the expenses outstrip reasonable revenue.

This sucks. (4, Insightful)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653741)

Ya know, this sucks so bad that I had to torrent some music at work to listen to since I didn't have my streams. :(

Re:This sucks. (1)

Uthic (931553) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653939)

What are you complaining about, a torrent gets you what you want waaaay faster than some tiny little stream. Flooding is a worry though.

Re:This sucks. (2, Insightful)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653947)

Or how about trying to listen to non-RIAA music? There are plenty of third party recordings that are made available for free or almost for free to anyone directly by artists, performers, even some record companies. Lots of classical pieces performed by the universities' choirs and orchestras are put out there for free

While I sympathize with you, you don't exactly have the rights to listen to music for free unless the copyright holder gives it to you. If you don't like it, you can get back at them by not paying attention to their crap, and actually supporting their competitors.

Re:This sucks. (1)

hardcampa (533829) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654067)

Do you really believe preaching about piracy + giving the option that he can download classical music will make him say: oh I'm such a bad man. What an infidel I am. I must repent!

Like anybody wants classical music to begin with.

Re:This sucks. (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654027)

And ... did you write to your congressman and senators?

if everyone who steals music would put five minutes of effort into keeping legal streams viable, there's no way the royalty ruling is going to go through.

Re:This sucks. (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654177)

What I'm listening to now on Pandora... [pandora.com]

You mean, what you are not listening to on Pandora! :)

Re:This sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654451)

This is clearly an insightful comment. My eyes have been opened.

Seriously, who mods these days? Torrenting at work is just stupid, not just because it may not be legal, but you're using company property to download stuff for yourself, on top of straining the network (don't kid yourself, bit torrent is not something that goes easy on the bandwidth) when you could be doing something productive like post on Slashdot. oh, wait...

Re:This sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654619)

Ha ... thats what the real effect of this will be.

without my streaming audio I'll just have to start downloading music torrents and then they don't even get the .007 cents per song.

Talk about cutting of your nose to spite your face :P

Non-American listeners? (2, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653769)

Is there anything we can do if we live outside of the USA? Will our voice/concerns even matter? We want to help in any way we can if it's all at possible.

Thanks.

Re:Non-American listeners? (2, Insightful)

tedshultz (596089) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653895)

Is there anything we can do if we live outside of the USA? Will our voice/concerns even matter? We want to help in any way we can if it's all at possible.
It's just about as easy to influence US politics if you live in the US or not, just give money to groups you support. Because the US is such a large world power (for better or worse), I'm surprised that more foreign groups are not more active in US politics.

No, and the reason is . . . (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653897)

there's the USA, and then there's the Rest of the world.

You're not in the first class. You don't count.

The problem is that the radio servers which will be affected by raised royalty rates are largely located within the US; thus, their operation is subject to US law (and individual State laws, depending upon which state the servers physically reside in and which state the company running the servers lists as its main office).

Wait, I know - you non-US types can set up radio servers outside the United States, (somewhat) avoiding the pitfalls of US law. YMMV.

Re:Non-American listeners? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19653997)

Why not Point our American Cousins at Stations outside the USA who broadcast on the Net?

  To start the ball rolling...

    www.planetrock.com (UK) Playing some Genesis as I write this. (June is Genesis Month)
    www.bbc.co.uk/radio and select your station

If the USA conglomerates are so determined to cut their own throat then so be it. These companies do need to understand that the internet allows us to listen to broadcasters from all over the world. Shutting down US based stations just means more audience for broadcasters in other possibly more enlightened countries.

I'm sad because I do sometimes tune into a few Bay Area Stations. Probably for not much longer.

Re:Non-American listeners? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654261)

"Please enter your Postcode Due to licensing changes, we're only allowed to offer our radio stream to those in the UK. You seem to be outside the UK, so you need to enter a valid UK postcode below:"
Still illegal. Thanks for trying, though!

Re:Non-American listeners? (1)

Keith_Beef (166050) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654577)

"Please enter your Postcode Due to licensing changes, we're only allowed to offer our radio stream to those in the UK. You seem to be outside the UK, so you need to enter a valid UK postcode below:"

Still illegal. Thanks for trying, though!

Go to Google's map of the UK and choose where you live. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=U K&ie=UTF8&ll=53.080827,-3.032227&spn=5.095991,21.1 37695&z=6&om=1 [google.com]

Then go to the Royal Mail and look up your post code. http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/postcodefinder [royalmail.com]

Beef.

Re:Non-American listeners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654151)

Blame Canada?

No taxation without representation. (0)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654233)

The reverse is true. You don't get a say until you start paying taxes....

That being said, why not start working in your own country with respect to streaming audio, if it means something to you?

Re:No taxation without representation. (3, Insightful)

hkfczrqj (671146) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654391)

You don't get a say until you start paying taxes....
So what can we do as non-immigrant, non-permanent, legal, F1 visa-holding, tax-paying residents of the US? That is, besides voting with my wallet (which is not useful in this case)?

No effect (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653805)

And to think that Yahoo's music service (Launch) is working just as well as always, today. I had no idea that there was any kind of boycott going on. I have Launchcast streaming all day, every day. Too bad Yahoo wasn't involved.

Re:No effect (1)

Quastor (797378) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653869)

Launchcast is down today. Well, the free version at least. There's no way they would go silent for their paying customers.

Re:No effect (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653941)

Why not? Won't they be the ones that are really affected in the end? People who are paying for the streams are the ones who are most likely to be annoyed if the service goes down. If I'm using some free service, and it gets shut down, it kind of sucks, but I wasn't paying for it anyway. If I'm paying for a service, I'm kind of expecting that it will stick around, and would be quite mad if it got shut down by some stupid laws.

Re:No effect (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654127)

If you're paying for the service, they can probably afford to pay the royalties, or could charge a bit more. Although, would you be willing to pay a subscription fee that works out to 19c/song? The free stuff, though, would be gone instantly. Yahoo probably figures they'll piss more people off by not giving them what they paid for for a day than they will convince people to take action.

Re:No effect (1)

Bad Ad (729117) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653879)

U.S. Internet radio stations will go offline Tuesday to protest an upcoming royalty rate hike threatening to wipe out Internet radio.

Re:No effect (3, Informative)

Max von H. (19283) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653903)

And to think that Yahoo's music service (Launch) is working just as well as always, today. I had no idea that there was any kind of boycott going on. I have Launchcast streaming all day, every day. Too bad Yahoo wasn't involved.

Then how come I get the following message if I try to listen to any stream?

" LAUNCHcast Is Off the Air - It's a Day of Silence
LAUNCHcast Radio and other webcasters are silent today, from
12 midnight EST to 11:59 pm EST. A recent COPYRIGHT ROYALTY decision will impose punishing fees that could shut down most online radio.
You can do something about it. Go to www.savenetradio.org to find out more, and call your congressional representative before JULY 15th.

Today is only one day of silence -- but if you don't speak up, this could be the only sound we'll hear from online radio. "

Looks like involvement to me...

Re:No effect (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654097)

Must be the free users, only.

Well, that's good then. Glad people will see it. I'm also glad that they didn't interrupt my subscription service. Yahoo handled that well.

Just a day? (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653809)

Why not forever until the right people get the message?

I dont really use online radio, but if I did I wouldn't miss it for a day.

Re:Just a day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19653899)

> Why not forever until the right people get the message?

That starts on July 15. Well, until the payola stations start operating.

News Coverage (1)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653847)

What gets me really worked up is that this really isn't that big of a deal to most people. They don't even notice it. Yes, hundreds of thousands of people listen to net radio, but they don't have any idea that it is going to stop. I totally expected to hear about this on the news this morning, but I couldn't seem to find anything about it between the Wrestler and the War in Error (sic).

Is there any way we could contact our regular Radio & Local News stations and raise awareness of this issue?

Brad

Re:News Coverage (2, Insightful)

another_fanboy (987962) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653949)

Is there any way we could contact our regular Radio & Local News stations and raise awareness of this issue?
The local stations may not care or may even be supportive of the bans seeing as internet radio competes with them.

Re:News Coverage (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654343)

Not true. A lot of terrestrial radio stations also broadcast a stream over the internet. This allows them to increase their broadcast range worldwide for next to nothing. This also means extra revenue for broadcasting ads on the webstream than they do on the terrestrial signal (the ones I listen to only have ads on the webstream that would have a nationwide appeal, such as McDonald's).

I know all of the radio stations I listen to have both the regular terrestrial and internet streams going. All of the DJ's have also been voicing their concerns regarding this legislation on the air. Seeing as Clear Channel is allowing them to speak out against the legislation on the air, it seems to me that terrestrial broadcasters value being able to stream their stations on the net.

Re:News Coverage (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654323)

72 million people, not "hundreds of thousands".

While technically correct* it is misleading.

"Technically correct is the best kind of correct." -- Number 1

"Foreign Radio" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19653857)

... and that is why I listent to internet radio from Europe. I guess not everyone will have to. Sux. I loved the great responsiveness of their stations up until now...?

Stupid American law makers.

Play independent music (1, Flamebait)

jmyers (208878) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653921)

A boycott is usually a dumb move that proves little. If they really want to make a difference they should seek out and play music by artists that are not requiring royalty payments.

Re:Play independent music (5, Informative)

GWLlosa (800011) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653981)

Won't work. The issue is that SoundExchange, which is the 'collections agency', has gotten the right to collect money "on behalf of" ALL artists, even those not registered with it. So even playing small-name garage-bands has the exact same price. The payments being foisted on the net radio companies have nothing to do with the actual artists at all.

Re:Play live music? (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654159)

-What about live music?
-What if the artist says on "air" that he/she expect no compensation for their live performance?
-What if it's a parody?
I could go on, but how anal is this law?

Re:Play live music? (1)

palewook (1101845) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654299)

any digital performance on the web, contract or not with any riaa company, is subject to the fees.

Re:Play independent music (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654237)

This is true, unless they sign a contract with said garage bands to play the garage bands music. SoundExchange is collecting on behalf of all artists who have not made alternate arrangements with a particular "broadcaster". Personally, I think that if this goes through it will be the death knell of the music industry. If this goes as planned, those who want to broadcast music over the Internet will have to sign agreements with bands outside of the current structure. If you are signing broadcast deals with Internet Radio stations and you can distribute your music over the Internet, what do you need EMI, Sony, or the rest of the RIAA gang for anyway?

Re:Play independent music (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654247)

How is this even legal? If they are collecting money for bands that aren't even affiliated with them, then they aren't giving these bands any money either, so basically they are just taking money. How do they define a song anyway. If I start up my own internet radio station, and it has no music, then I probably shouldn't have to pay them. However, if I sing "jingle bells" on air, will they now require that I pay them? What about the opening musical jingle to my radio talk show? What about if I'm a band and I let my fans stream my songs from my website for free? Does this count as an internet radio station?

Re:Play independent music (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654441)

Dude, we live in an era where if you open a bar, you have to pay a fee 'just in case' someone decides to sing a song.
No. Shit.

It's going to keep on unless some people who own large chains decide to run a very public, very ugly and very costly campaign to stop it.
I have no doubt that if the crap like this goes on was know by a broad group of Americans, it would stop. Yes the cynic would say it wouldn't matter, but history proves otherwise.

Re:Play independent music (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654665)

Its as stupid as me paying recordable cd levies in Canada for the pleasure of storing my own copyrighted photos. Yes Celine Dion gets money from me when ever I back up my photos. WTF??

Re:Play independent music (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654609)

Surely the solution is to set up a competitor (for want of a better word) to SoundExchange. It will sign a single agreement on behalf of any band that signs with it allowing the existing rates to continue. Any station that only plays music from bands signed with the SoundExchange competitor will be exempt from the new fees (if they play a single song not covered by this or other contracts, then they have problems). Get the indie labels on board, and the whole problem goes away.

Re:Play independent music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654007)

If they really want to make a difference they should seek out and play music by artists that are not requiring royalty payments

Nice try, but the US government in its infinite wisdom and inability to do anything wrong declared that SoundExchange is the compulsory license collector for every song, whether the artist is affiliated with them or not.

Re:Play independent music (2, Informative)

RaigetheFury (1000827) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654025)

Actually it raises awareness. I didn't even know today was a boycott day until all my favorite stations I have saved played the same message when I connected. I went to the site, found the appropriate contact information and tossed an email. Sure I admit that they probably won't read my email but they will notice that 1 because it will be part of hundreds if not thousands. Lets say 1 in 10 people listening today took the 2 minutes it took me to email them. That's 7.5million people. That's a lot of email any way you look at it.

One day? (1)

BHearsum (325814) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653971)

How is shutting down for one day going to do ANYTHING?

Re:One day? (2, Informative)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654029)

It gets all the listeners to actually notice that this is going to happen. Maybe some of them will call their senators, perhaps enough to get the bill they want passed. Doubtful, since the RIAA can lobby via the power of bribery--er,uh... campaign donations?

Re:One day? (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654277)

Yeah, just like all the people who stop buying gas one day of the year cause the gasmakers to realize that the American people won't take high gas prices anymore!

Oh wait, it accomplishes nothing ...

Re:One day? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654641)

The American people don't have high gas prices. If you want high gas prices, just look north, to Canada, or even better, to Europe.

Never heard of SSH tunneling? (0, Flamebait)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#19653975)

They can simply tunnel their broadcasts to a serrver outside the US and broadcast from there. This is a non issue caused by a lack of imagination.

KUOW is joining in (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654013)

As you can see at KUOW [kuow.org], they are also participating, as I believe RainyDawg and KNHC in Seattle are as well.

Re:KUOW is joining in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654211)

Really? I saw nothing about it on the KUOW webpage you linked to.

Likewise, traveling to npr.org also reveals absolutely no mention of it.

Although honestly I can't say I'm surprised that government radio would be strangely silent on having some of their competition silently eliminated by another part of the government. We all know how much NPR stood up for small FM radio operators...

This really is a non-issue. (0, Flamebait)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654037)

I don't see why people get so upset about this. It really isn't a big deal. If the radio stations don't want pay the extortion rates (or shutdown because they can't afford them) all they have to do is move to another country. IANAL, but its not that hard to incorporate in another country. All they have to do is start a Canadian corporation or something and run it from there. If they can afford the old rates they can afford the few thousand to incorporate in another country. There is no reason this should have any effect other than hurting the US economy a bit since they will now be getting no royalties instead of the smaller ones.

Re:This really is a non-issue. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654275)

"...all they have to do is move to another country"
oh, is that all.

You missed the point, please try again..then stop.

Re:This really is a non-issue. (2, Interesting)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654287)

My local college radio station (WREK) will also be affected by these new regs, not just pirate radio.

Why? Because WREK streams to the internet as well as using its website to host archives of the past week's music. Missed the Hour of Slack or dozed off during your favorite techno show? No problem, it's waiting for you! It's not even different from the terrestrial radio; just packaged a little nicer for your PC.

How does forcing collegiate radio to pay excessive royalty rates help ANYBODY but these SoundExchange folks? All this is going to do is stifle new investments into the system...

Re:This really is a non-issue. (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654703)

I also don't understand how this is going to affect the smaller stations. Most of the smaller internet-only stations I know/listen to either play indie music, or are talk stations. Wouldn't they be unaffected by any sort of royalties to begin with. If you want to listen to the RIAA crap, turn on your terrestrial radio. I always thought the point of internet radio was that amateur jocks could play the music and programs that the large stations don't.

Arrrrrr (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654081)

WE need some pirate radio mates!

Personally I don't listen to net radio. So far haven't listened to a station yet that didn't have such poor audio quality that my ears were left feeling raped. But in principle it seems the gov'ment is overstepping its mandate big time here which is always bad. So power to the pirates and may anarchy rein till we get a new less corrupt government.

It will just go underground.. (3, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654083)

US NetCasters will either move to a country without those laws
OR
use an SSL tunnel to a server in a country without those laws.

I wonder what they do to Net radio stations with "ALL TALK" or ALL News" format?

Damned stupid over-bribed politicians.

Presidential Memo To Slashdotteurs: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654133)

You have NO rights.

This is the United Gulags of Amerca [whitehouse.org].

War-mongeringly Yours,
W [google.com]

Close to the business. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654253)

I am a friend of a terrestial FM station's president. He also streams his content, for free. Him and I were discussing this issue just last week.

He can afford paying the royalties, if he must. The smaller shops will pay about the same.

Here are the issues as he pointed out.

1. He is going to have to pay 10x what he would have in the past.

2. The artists don't even know the cut they are going to get.
2a. The artists are beginning to catch on. /AC for a reason.

move outside the US (2, Interesting)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654359)

Why can't these companies move somewhere outside the US? It's not like US law is applicable elsewhere in the world.

Wrong! (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654477)

The guy who has been illegally extradited from the UK to the USA (illegal because America kills people, and no country can extradite to a country that murders people in order to claim revenge for crimes as put in law by the Geneva convection which the UK is meant to adhere to) for hacking an American site whilst he was in the UK and therefore not under the jurisdiction of the USA (he could have been prosecuted by the UK police) and is now going to serve up to (cant remember exactly) 70 years in prison, he may disagree with you.

Re:move outside the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19654567)

Why can't these companies move somewhere outside the US? It's not like US law is applicable elsewhere in the world.

You're new here, aren't you?

In Soviet Russia (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19654397)

Radio silences YOU!

I know I know, I can't believe I just posted that, I also can't believe it's not butter.
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