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A Reprieve for Internet Radio

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the i-can-keep-getting-my-soundtrack-fix dept.

The Internet 108

westlake writes "In the wake of Internet Radio's Day of Silence, SoundExchange has proposed a temporary $2500 cap on advance payments 'per channel/per station.' The Digital Music Association responded immediately in its own press release that it would agree to this, but only if the term for the new arrangement were extended to 2010 — or, preferably, forever. On another front, SoundExchange seems aware in its PR that it will have to concede something more to the non-profit webcaster, if it is to avoid Congressional action."

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108 comments

Still a chunk of change (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19715473)

And wasn't the contention that they were demanding these fees even from stations that exclusively "broadcast" public domain or copyleft works?

It's the end of radio, can you hear me now?

Re:Still a chunk of change (5, Interesting)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 years ago | (#19715523)

>It's the end of radio, can you hear me now?
Reminds me of "WXJL Tonight" by The Human League from 1980 about the last DJ on the air lamenting his fate as all the other stations have gone over to 24/7 automatic stations without any chat inbetween the songs.
And now I'm left alone
I haven't got a word to say
And youre the one who makes the choice
To turn me on or turn me off
But now it really matters

Re:Still a chunk of change (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19715603)

> Reminds me of "WXJL Tonight" by The Human League from 1980 about the
> last DJ on the air lamenting his fate as all the other stations have
> gone over to 24/7 automatic stations without any chat inbetween the
> songs.

More or less, it's just a more contemporary and humorous riff on that idea. [scenepointblank.com] I've got the travelogue album on vinyl somewhere, I'll have to dig it out.

Re:Still a chunk of change (2, Interesting)

jaweekes (938376) | about 7 years ago | (#19716361)

Unfortunately that is almost here. Steve-FM [steve-fm.com] in Columbia, SC does not have a DJ, and plays "whatever we want", so no requests. The sadder part is that it's the best station in Columbia, and has risen to be No. 1 in the area because it doesn't have a DJ.

Re:Still a chunk of change (2, Interesting)

michrech (468134) | about 7 years ago | (#19716711)

Unfortunately that is almost here. Steve-FM [steve-fm.com] in Columbia, SC does not have a DJ, and plays "whatever we want", so no requests. The sadder part is that it's the best station in Columbia, and has risen to be No. 1 in the area because it doesn't have a DJ.
What would be cool (though not for DJ's) would be to combine the "music playing robot" with some AI. Set up a phone bank (obviously hooked up to a computer). Link it to your music catalog. Let people call in and "request" a song. Once a song gets x amount of votes, play it in the next rotation.

Oh, the possibilities with such a system.

Re:Still a chunk of change (1)

jaweekes (938376) | about 7 years ago | (#19716805)

I'm not sure. I think one of the best things about Steve-FM is that they will play Linkin Park, then Frank Sinatra, followed by Robert Palmer; a mixture no request program is ever going to play!

Re:Still a chunk of change (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | about 7 years ago | (#19718161)

and with good reason...

Re:Still a chunk of change (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19718553)

I guarantee you that "one of the best things" followed by "play Linkin Park" should never appear in the same sentence. I mean, jesus... why not add Korn and Slipknot to the rotation?

Re:Still a chunk of change (1)

michrech (468134) | about 7 years ago | (#19718649)

I guarantee you that "one of the best things" followed by "play Linkin Park" should never appear in the same sentence. I mean, jesus... why not add Korn and Slipknot to the rotation?
Why not, so long as there are people in the area that like them?

Re:Still a chunk of change (1)

casings (257363) | about 7 years ago | (#19717785)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_FM [wikipedia.org]

This has been done for a while now...

Re:Still a chunk of change (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | about 7 years ago | (#19721711)

I think it's a trend around the country to have these radio stations that don't have an actual DJ, they just run through random playlists. The common characteristic is that they all have "average Joe" names... like Steve-FM, Jack-FM, etc. We have Doug-FM here in Detroit.

Although it's good to play when you have people over for background noise, I still enjoy listening to the actual DJ talk about upcoming concerts involving the bands they play, different events happening aroudn town, etc. I personally listen to the radio to hear both music and the DJ... if I just wanted to hear a random playlist I'd plug my mp3 player in.

Re:Still a chunk of change (2, Insightful)

beckerist (985855) | about 7 years ago | (#19720285)

I miss the days when radio was orchestrated by the DJ. Instead of there being "playlists" and the DJ just there for random contests and advertisements, the DJ USED to be (well...sometimes was...) a knowledgeable source of the music he was playing, because not only would he PLAY what he LIKED, he generally OWNED it all anyway.

Now it's all automated and corporately driven, unless you find a good college station: (like www.wicb.org [wicb.org] -- listen online and rated very well nationally)

8 years ago when I called up my local rock station and asked for Queens of the Stone Age, the DJ knew who I was talking about (at that point a year old band with a brand new album.) Now, try to call your local rock radio station and see if they have any Copeland, [wikipedia.org] or Tea Party [wikipedia.org] (now just Jeff Martin, [wikipedia.org] but worth a look!!!) or V.A.S.T. [wikipedia.org] ...bands that have been putting out multiple albums for YEARS but since they aren't on many major playlists, you'll NEVER hear them from ClearChannel or KROCK...

Re:Still a chunk of change (1)

The Great Pretender (975978) | about 7 years ago | (#19721775)

Try http://www.kexp.org/ [kexp.org] . In my opinion good music coming out of Seattle (90.3 FM for the locals), but even if the music is not perfect for you it's fully DJ driven at a personal level.

Re:Still a chunk of change (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19715861)

And wasn't the contention that they were demanding these fees even from stations that exclusively "broadcast" public domain or copyleft works?

Technically, they CAN'T LEGALLY go after the PD or copyleft stations. Sure, they can ASK for the fees from these broadcasters, but they cannot win them in court since Soundexchange wasn't specifically hired to protect these copyrights and they have no contract to do so. Attempting to get fees from PD/copyleft broadcasters would be like me sticking up a 7-11 store, telling the clerk "I'm here representing the IRS, hand over all your cash so I can give it to them."

Yeah, like that would hold up in court.

Re:Still a chunk of change (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 7 years ago | (#19716903)

Technically, they CAN'T LEGALLY go after the PD or copyleft stations.

It doesn't matter what's legal and what's not. All that matters is that they can suppress any budding website with legal threats, delays and costs. There's a trail of damage a mile wide behind these scum Death By Lawyer: 10 Cool Sites We Miss [mashable.com]

Re:Still a chunk of change (1)

Jawbreaker4Fs (974108) | about 7 years ago | (#19716183)

Utmost respect for the Shellac reference.
That song has been running through my head throughout this whole debacle.

Re:Still a chunk of change (1)

deviceb (958415) | about 7 years ago | (#19717357)

pirate radio..
nothing to see here...

Re:Still a chunk of change (1)

Emperor Cezar (106515) | about 7 years ago | (#19719991)

IIRC the fees are statutory, unless you have agreement with the copyright holder. Thus you can play anything without permission of the owner, but you had to pay the SoundExchange rate. I think copyleft and public domain fall into the separate permission category. So you shouldn't have to pay anything.

"didn't realise" (5, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 years ago | (#19715507)

That phrase that they "didn't realise" these stations have thousands of channels just points to how ill researched these organisations are. They're putting in knee-jerk regulatory and charging regimes that just don't fit the real world. It's probably not even crossed their mind that half of them are trying to charge for listeners in countries that don't even fall under their jurisdiction.
We're going through a painful growing stage that's going to be full of 'WTF?' moments but I'd be surprised if in ten years time, the music industry landscape will be drastically different with self-publishing bands, CDs a rarity (or their replacement format) and the licencing juggernaut that we have right now being relegated to history.
The only reason I can see for the industry as it stands to exist is R&D but they do so little of that now as to be moot. If a band doesn't hit the big time on their first single/album, they're dropped, no more the nurturing of a band over several albums while they find their stride.
The HiFi brigade will naturally be less than enthused about MP3 as a primary format but that will no doubt be replaced with some sort of lossless DRM free format by then.

Re:"didn't realise" (3, Funny)

b0z0n3 (1086487) | about 7 years ago | (#19715533)

It's probably not even crossed their mind that half of them are trying to charge for listeners in countries that don't even fall under their jurisdiction.
Hey, it's America - The whole universe is their jurisdiction.

Re:"didn't realise" (4, Funny)

pointfiftyae (993509) | about 7 years ago | (#19715573)

The Copyright Royalty [...] apparently didn't understand that webcasters such as Pandora and Live365 offer thousands of streams.
Yeah, I thought that too... but I think it's more of a rhetoric trick from TFA's author to make them look Even More Evil/Stupid(TM)... I mean, it's their job, I can't believe they would write regulations about something they don't even understand!

Re:"didn't realise" (2, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 years ago | (#19715605)

I can't believe they would write regulations about something they don't even understand!
In the UK that's all the Labour government do - a new law every ten minutes on average too. If this is your first exposure to fools making foolish laws, be happy!

Re:"didn't realise" (4, Insightful)

ShedPlant (1041034) | about 7 years ago | (#19715777)

You're far too quick to predict the demise of one of the biggest, richest and toughest corporate organisations in America. It's very naive.

Re:"didn't realise" (3, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 7 years ago | (#19716349)

Sorry to comment on the moderation of the parent post, but I'd say that's hardly flamebait.

ShedPlant makes a valid point, though it's not to the liking of most people here.

The record industry is extremely wealthy and has the ear of the extremely powerful. Though it may seem obvious to us that their business model is outdated and is destined to fail, they have the political clout to make sure US legislators prop up their model for a long, long time. They also, via control (or association with those in control) of television media, continue to have the strongest marketing presence.

It's all fine and dandy to believe that the music industry of the future is just over the horizon, but I don't think it's in the immediate future -- there is simply too much political clout and capital invested in making sure that then status quo is maintained. I think back ten years, and people were saying that by now, we'd already have witnessed the restructuring of the music industry due to technological changes. Ten years from now, I think we'll look back at today, and be saying the same thing.

This isn't just Monday morning pessimism, the simple truth is that it will be another generation (or two!) before the people who really understand the future of media distribution are in the political power positions necessary to overcome the money being funneled into politics by the media companies. And that's if we're lucky.

Re:"didn't realise" (1)

vuffi_raa (1089583) | about 7 years ago | (#19727559)

if things keep up as they are though the music industry is only going to lose profits due to their lack of growth- they will be the victim of their own hubris. The fact is that if it is not "piracy" or itunes it will be another thing, and another added that reduces the profits of the industry because it is based on an album sale business and is spending more $ and turning off more fans every day to defend their business model which is antiquated.

Re:"didn't realise" (1)

MojoRilla (591502) | about 7 years ago | (#19718199)

You're far too quick to predict the demise of one of the biggest, richest and toughest corporate organisations in America. It's very naive.
Biggest and richest corporate organizations in America? Uh, really?

EMI Group [emigroup.com] bills itself as the worlds largest independent music company. They had revenue last year of 2 billion pounds (approximately 4 billion dollars) with profits of approximately 250 million pounds ($500 million dollars).

Compare that to say, Exxon Mobile [cnn.com] . In 2006, it had a profit of 39.5 billion dollars [breitbart.com] .

So, Exxon Mobile was 79 times more profitable than one of the larger music companies. Despite getting lots of press and being in a glamorous industry, entertainment companies are a lot smaller and less profitable than many other businesses. Take a look at the Fortune 500 [cnn.com] . The highest entertainment company is Time Warner at 48th, followed by Disney at 64th.

Re:"didn't realise" (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | about 7 years ago | (#19718535)

Yeah, it's like this one site I belong to (can't remember the name) where people are always predicting the Microsoft's latest flap spells the end of their corporation and a complete desktop OS replacement with Linux... Now what was the name of that site again??

Re:"didn't realise" (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#19715851)

We're going through a painful growing stage that's going to be full of 'WTF?' moments but I'd be surprised if in ten years time, the music industry landscape will be drastically different with self-publishing bands, CDs a rarity (or their replacement format) and the licencing juggernaut that we have right now being relegated to history.


Not just self-publishing, but self-publishing and somewhat self-promoting. I mean somewhat because a new market will be created for promoters, whom will be hired directly by bands, much like a publicist today. Except that the promoter will do all the promoting jobs, not just talking to the media -- they'll hire advertisers, they'll buy Google ads, they'll hire the necessary people to setup concerts and gigs. IOW, they'll do a lot of the valuable work the record companies do today.

Call me naive, call me a dreamer -- but the more I look it at it from the perspective of a musical artist, it just seems to be going in that direction.

Re:"didn't realise" (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 years ago | (#19715931)

I'd hope that you're right. But I don't think the dino wants to die. It will cling to its life with all its might, and the mafiaa has a lot of (financial) muscle. As long as people buy hypecrap, this doesn't change.

Now, internet radio is dealing a serious blow to the mafiaa. Remember that radio is maybe the most influencial medium when it comes to making some kind of music mainstream. You hear it all the time, so it's gotta be good. It ain't the other way around anymore. It used to be (ok, some 50 years or so ago), that music was good, people liked it, so radio played it to attract listeners. Today, it's reverse. Just like in every other industry. Without real competition, and everyone selling you the same crap, you have no choice but to accept the crap and choose from different equally crappy products. Thus it doesn't hurt a radio station to spew hypecrap instead of playing music.

Internet radio sure hurts this kind of revenue stream. Quite a few internet radio "stations" are ran by people who want to play "their" music. Who have a certain liking and want this to be heard. And they sure as hell won't hype some crap song even for money. If anything, they ridicule it.

Can you see why the mafiaa isn't really too fond of the idea of internet radio?

Re:"didn't realise" (1)

binarybum (468664) | about 7 years ago | (#19726759)

"And they sure as hell won't hype some crap song even for money."

  pinko commie bastards that won't play crap for money?! That makes me sick!
    Every red-blooded lover of free trade should play crap for money, and for more money they should eat crap, and for even more money they should dance to the sound of this crap in a very sexual and stereotyped fashion!

    now if that's not phraseology worthy of a constitutional amendment, I don't know what is.

    seriously... I don't know

Re:"didn't realise" (1)

weber (36246) | about 7 years ago | (#19716043)

The HiFi brigade will naturally be less than enthused about MP3 as a primary format but that will no doubt be replaced with some sort of lossless DRM free format by then.
Probably redundant to say in this forum but the Free Lossless Audio Codec [wikipedia.org] (FLAC [sourceforge.net] ) would do nicely in this context, I think.

The panel is incompetent (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 7 years ago | (#19716253)

Simply stated, the (three, five?) judge panel setting the ruling should be sacked. It is clear that they have absolutely no business setting royalty payments, as they are entirely ignroant of the underlying industry which they are ruling on. The expert for the stations stated, in effect, this exact outcome and they either didn't understand the technology enough to realize the implications, or were so biased towards one party that they chose to ignore the information. Either way, they should be replaced with members which understand the industry and the conditions present.

Of course, that won't happen. Incompetence and ignorance are not grounds for removing a judge, and from the prespective of the current administration they played the game very nicely.

Re:"didn't realise" (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 years ago | (#19716417)

What I find more disturbing is that you actually believe they did it by accident. They knew 100% that these broadcasters had "1000's of stations" and knew 100% the hardship they would create. they did not sink that money into lobbying and strong arming congress to allow their scheme without knowing what they were doing.

Never never NEVER ever trust any company that get's laws passed in their favor and then back off claiming "ignorance" they did it on purpose, if they didn't then they need to petition congress to overturn their bad will actions.

and we all know that California will slide off into the ocean way before that will ever happen.

Re:"didn't realise" (1)

janrinok (846318) | about 7 years ago | (#19716585)

Your view of the future is unlikely. CDs (or their replacement format) will not disappear until everyone has access to the internet. As much of the US (and elsewhere) hasn't even got broadband yet the majority of people do not have a system for downloading large media files. They are more or less stuck with email and web browsing, or some very long download times. Now if you are predicting that the US will solve its problems within the next decade I will choose to disagree with your optimistic assessment. There are some countries that are being proactive about giving good quality internet access to a massive majority of their population at an attractive price, but the US isn't one of them.

Re:"didn't realise" (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 years ago | (#19716877)

much of the US (and elsewhere) hasn't even got broadband yet
That's a fair point and I'm looking at it from the European standpoint. Apart from my 70 something year old mum, I don't know *anyone* that isn't on broadband including people's parents and grandparents. I'm also scratching my head to think of anyone that still buys CDs too. I buy the odd one still but then I also buy new vinyl because I'm a collector. Everyone else I know either buys or aquires MP3s as their only source of music now.
Someone else noted how powerful and rich the record companies are. In the UK, the likes of EMI are in financial trouble, high street shop chains that sell CDs are all closing and those who are clinging on (HMV) are showing big losses. And that's in a country that allegedly still buys more CDs than most other countries per capita.
I think in terms of the changes we'll see, ten years is a long time but it will be a house of cards - things will continue as they are for a few years then it will all change very rapidly. All IMHO of course.
Another thought is the demographics - the singles market has all but collapsed - you can get a number one single on sales that wouldn't have touched the top 40 in the 80's. The traditional market i.e. teens has all but given up buying them outside of the few that don't use computers and those probably just swap MP3s on their phones - they certainly insist on playing RnB/(c)rap 'slamming choonz' on the bus for everyone to 'enjoy'. The bulk of purchasing though is albums and that is doing OKish but most people (mid 20's to mid 50s) I know have stopped buying them unless they're a collector.

Re:"didn't realise" (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#19718155)

My mother doesn't have broadband (in the UK). It's only become available where she lives (20 minutes outside the nearest city, in a small cluster of villages) in the last year or so, but she hasn't switched because she only uses the Internet for email and the occasional bit of research or shopping. She and my step father have, between them, about 500 music CDs, and purchase new ones fairly regularly.

Re:"didn't realise" (1)

janrinok (846318) | about 7 years ago | (#19718415)

We are indeed fortunate in Europe, Asia and one or two other countries but it seems to me that elsewhere business interests are holding up broadband expansion. I have stopped buying any significant number of CDs but I haven't been replacing them by downloads despite my 8Mb download speed with no capping for the equivalent of $25/month. It seems to me that there is less music that appeals to me than there was, say, a decade ago - however, that might simply be a factor of my age, and my tastes changing!

I hope something happens soon (0)

ClaraBow (212734) | about 7 years ago | (#19715517)

Whatever they decide on, it will have to happen soon, because the new rates go into effect in 16 days. It'd be a shame to see Pandora, Live365, and other multi-stream webcasters eliminated.

I love Live365, It would be a same to see them go under. They have an amazing selection of music and for 3.65 a month it is a great bargain.

Re:I hope something happens soon (4, Funny)

pipatron (966506) | about 7 years ago | (#19715535)

This post paid in full by Live365

Re:I hope something happens soon (2, Interesting)

ClaraBow (212734) | about 7 years ago | (#19715671)

Okay, fair enough, it sounds like an advert, but I was just trying to say that sites like Live365 offer great a variety of radio stations, and they are invaluable for people who like to explore different kinds of music in a legal and inexpensive manner. But I concede to the fact that I sounded like a front person for Live365, but I'm jut a fan.

Yay for Live365 (1)

smurfsurf (892933) | about 7 years ago | (#19716803)

I fully agree. For me, it is Salsa music. And I found a station there that plays mostly new, unknown stuff and only a few classics. FM latin stations play too much Raeggeton and current Latin Top-10s for my taste.

Re:I hope something happens soon (1)

merc_sa (35777) | about 7 years ago | (#19719685)


*chuckle* I actually do work for Live365. And no, doesn't sound like an employee post
(I'm probably one of the few that actually reads slashdot). I wish we did have the resources
to try to shill the usual net outlets, then I can try to commandeer that effort for
something else ;)

We're a lot smaller than most folks would imagine. one of the common complaints around
here is that we don't have the resources to do any promotion to drive awareness and of
course Pandora, last.fm gets tons more press ink than we do. Our best efforts are really
the broadcasters at Live365, who really does the bulk of work of getting the word of
mouth out to people to even find Live365.

Personally, it's the broadcasters and their enthusiasm that keeps us around. If this thing
actually succeeds, it'll be more despite of us rather than because of us *chuckle*

Testing the waters? (5, Interesting)

FiniteElementalist (1073824) | about 7 years ago | (#19715541)

I'm curious if part of this back and forth is the recording industry trying to see how hard they can push on internet radio before they push too hard and it backfires. Effectively killing internet radio in the US seems like it would be pretty far beyond that point, as it would be hard for congress to look the other way on that. The temporary deal could then just be to ratchet down the tensions so they can find a more viable way to profit from or inhibit internet once it falls out of public awareness.

Or it could just be that they are incompetent with dealing with internet distribution of music. That wouldn't be unprecedented.

Re:Testing the waters? (4, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#19715943)

Both. The recording industry hates the Internet precisely because it will eventually eliminate their business model. That much is obvious. I don't think it's like the recording industry wants to eliminate the Internet as a means of music distribution -- they just want to slow it down enough until they can ensure that they will continue to be a relevant part of music distribution.

In the end, I don't think they will ... the tide's already turned against them. But watching the show of them going down is going to be spectacular.

Re:Testing the waters? (3, Interesting)

beyondkaoru (1008447) | about 7 years ago | (#19719321)

they just want to slow it down enough until they can ensure that they will continue to be a relevant part of music distribution.
they (and the music industry is certainly not the only one) don't want to slow down the internet, they want to make the internet like television. perhaps inadvertently, stuff like nat has done it for them; many people don't get the ability to receive tcp connections, and to receive udp (from people you didn't first send a packet to) one often has to do weird little dances like stun. if you can't receive connections even though you want to, well, we've broken the original idea behind the internet. there's nothing wrong with having a firewall that blocks incoming connections... there is however a problem with it being forced on people.

so, making programs in which willing computers can talk to each other -- you know, the whole reason we have the internet -- is harder. not impossible, certainly, but it is at least more annoying.

on the web, unlike the raw internet, there are essentially producers and consumers: a model long standing industries are used to. a client requests a server to do stuff. and as we've seen both here and elsewhere, the existing industries would like very much to be the _only_ producers.

with the internet, we have the opportunity to do more than just port 80, and by gosh we should.

Re:Testing the waters? (3, Insightful)

Gorshkov (932507) | about 7 years ago | (#19716397)

Effectively killing internet radio in the US seems like it would be pretty far beyond that point, as it would be hard for congress to look the other way on that.
But they won't kill internet radio in the US. They'll kill internet radio BASED in the US.

Anybody want to rent some of my Canadian bandwidth for streaming to US customers?

Re:Testing the waters? (1)

insignificant_wrangl (1060444) | about 7 years ago | (#19717707)

I think this move shows that the rafiaa is at least a bit hesitant to take this matter in front of Congress, where their "file-sharing is piracy" metaphor isn't quite as deeply entrenched (anyone remember Senator Stevens [ipaction.org] ? The supreme court is involved in a very intricate game of precedence and interpretation, and right now one side is just playing a hell of a lot better.

But I think FiniteElementalist hits this one on the head: the Riaa does not want this to become a political hot topic entering a presidential election year in which the Democrats are the odds on favorites. Maintaining traditional corporate infastructure is a Republican mantra, and I don't think you want the future of your industry riding on the right this year! The rafiaa plays the legal game very well, they will not win a popular public debate. Keep calling your congressmen [savenetradio.org] , let them know that this is an issue that could win your vote.

Just say no. (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 years ago | (#19715549)

These stations need to start up alternate stations that make use of indies. The only reason why soundexchange/riaa is agreeing to this, because they are realizing that they killing the golden goose.

Re:Just say no. (5, Interesting)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | about 7 years ago | (#19715597)

This is the truth. Besides, we all know that indie bands are better. Who wouldn't prefer Minus the Bear to Fall Out Boy? K-OS to R Kelly? Anything to Nickelback? I hope the industry realizes that the successes of popular bands like Wilco and Pearl Jam as independent artists are not flukes.

Re:Just say no. (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | about 7 years ago | (#19717415)

Heh. Nickleback. An good, albeit already done, trick is to take "This is how you remind me" and "Someday,Somehow". Put on one the left channel and the other on the right. Listen to the result. Concidently, Nickelback's new song, "This is how you remind me of Someday when I had talent but got so bad that we had to start ripping ourselves off".

Re:Just say no. (1)

affliction (242524) | about 7 years ago | (#19716201)

Part of the problem is SoundDomain is still charging fees for unsigned indie bands.

They really struck gold with that little trick.

Re:Just say no. (1)

AeroIllini (726211) | about 7 years ago | (#19720607)

These stations need to start up alternate stations that make use of indies.
It doesn't work that way. SoundExchange collects royalties for all music played, not just those bands that have registered for the service. The idea behind it was that keeping track of who has and has not registered with SoundExchange would be "too hard", so Congress just allows SoundExchange to collect for everyone, and distribute to those who have registered. Of course, in this day of internet databases and automated playlists that argument doesn't hold water anymore, but that's still how the system works. Even if the internet radio stations played 99.999% indy music, as soon as they play one song by one band that has registered with SoundExchange, they owe SoundExchange money for all their music on all their stations.

Don't like it? Write to your congresscritter. I did.

Re:Just say no. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 7 years ago | (#19722095)

These stations need to start up alternate stations that make use of indies. The only reason why soundexchange/riaa is agreeing to this, because they are realizing that they killing the golden goose.

It seems worth inserting a reminder that the statutory license works to the advantage of the independent artist.

The broadcaster doesn't have to negotiate rights with 1,000 ephemeral no-name bands. He can broadcast pretty much anything he likes, anything that catches his interest, without fear of litigation somewhere down the road.

Heh Heh Heh (2, Interesting)

LordPhantom (763327) | about 7 years ago | (#19715581)

FTA: "DiMA would agree to a $2,500 per-service cap for the entire term of the CRB ruling (through 2010), but not the partial-offer presented to us in writing, which would terminate in 2008.

Why not longer, DiMA? If I were SoundExchange, I'd be amused with this - the longer they can make 2,500 the maximum, the more erosion of actual costs (inflation) will happen. $2,500 isn't what it used to be.

Re:Heh Heh Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19715643)

Well well mister smartass.

How about we make it ONE MILLION DOLLARS

- RiAA

Finland.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19715709)

Around 2000, when net radios were starting to pop up, the finnish equivalent of RIAA killed off all net radio activity in finland exactly the same way.

Now - last week - they've turned around and are excited to offer this brand new venue for artists to reach their audience!

It would be interesting to know the details of the new contract..

Re:Finland.. (1)

Spliffster (755587) | about 7 years ago | (#19716523)

this is exactly what I understand

a) you are a big fish, we allow you to broadcast for a bargain of $2500. We know you, we thrust you (the large ones are usually already FM stations which have been dealing with the music industries for decades and are controllable).

b) you are a small fish, either you pay a ridiculous fee or shut up. You are our problem because there are too many of you we have no control over.

In 2008 or later, when most of the small stations are gone, we negotiate new deals with the remaining large ones to extort more money and shut down the remaining unwilling (read indies).

Re:Finland.. (1)

RincewindTVD (1011435) | about 7 years ago | (#19723251)

We know you, we thrust you
That's an .. interesting relationship between the music associations over in your country.

Let internet radio die (4, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 7 years ago | (#19715801)

We should be helping the music cartels kill themselves, not trying to convince them of the stupidity of their actions. And I would rather my beloved internet radio stations go out as martyrs than forever hear them begging me for donations that will just end up going to the RIAA mobsters.

Re:Let internet radio die (2, Interesting)

jez9999 (618189) | about 7 years ago | (#19715897)

I'd rather see them going offshore, surviving whilst the RIAA still dies anyway.

Re:Let internet radio die (1)

westlake (615356) | about 7 years ago | (#19722527)

We should be helping the music cartels kill themselves, not trying to convince them of the stupidity of their actions. And I would rather my beloved internet radio stations go out as martyrs than forever hear them begging me for donations that will just end up going to the RIAA mobsters.

Not all of us are content with garage band performance. There are entire genres of music that demand organization, talent, money, and resources that are very difficult to put together.

Why SoundExchange? (4, Interesting)

EPAstor (933084) | about 7 years ago | (#19715823)

Does anyone have any information as to what part of the law empowers SoundExchange to collect royalties for artists who do not have an explicit agreement with them? Personally, this is starting to seem like the most worrying thing about the state of US copyright, given how many ties I've heard cited between SoundExchange and the music distribution companies. It seems strange that this organization is allowed to collect on other people's work, especially since I've been given to understand that SoundExchange will not pay out royalties to the artist unless the artist in turn pays for a SoundExchange membership...

Re:Why SoundExchange? (1)

diversiform (1085477) | about 7 years ago | (#19716419)

The SoundExchange website has links to the relevant laws and the "Notice of Designation As Collective Under Statutory License": http://www.soundexchange.com/about/about.html [soundexchange.com]

Yes, SoundExchange is basically run by the RIAA, so I have my doubts as to whether their collection and payout methods are fair to non-RIAA artists (or even RIAA artists, for that matter). But as a practical matter, who else was going to offer to take on this responsibility? I haven't checked, but I have a feeling that when the Copyright Office needed to figure out who would be responsible for collecting and paying these royalties, the RIAA lobbyists were right there, and no one else had the money or clout to suggest a plausible alternative.

But here, maybe these Modern Music Industry Lightbulb Jokes [theodoramichaels.com] will cheer you up.

Re:Why SoundExchange? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 7 years ago | (#19716815)

Not exactly. Any Copyright owner can register a receiving agent with the Copyright Office. The DMCA included a provision that if no agent is registered by a copyright holder, the Copyright Office can assign one by default.

Not sure when the Library of Congress made the ruling, but they assigned SoundExchange as the default receiving agent sometime in the late 90s (1999?). This was likely due to SoundExchange being the most mature and capable of the receiving agencies out there at the time (which, in line with what you are saying, was likely due to funding/business from the RIAA member companies).

Re:Why SoundExchange? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 7 years ago | (#19716661)

Yes, we get to blamne the DMCA again. See title 17 of the US Code [copyright.gov] , Section 114(f) 5A.

Section 114 allows the Copyright Office to designate a receiving agent for those who have not registered a receiving agent with the Copyright Office.

Re:Why SoundExchange? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19719945)

If an independent artist or even better a group of independents took the trouble to do this, could they then tell SoundExchange to go &^%$ themselves?

Re:Why SoundExchange? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 7 years ago | (#19720807)

In theory, I think so from what I understood of the statute. The problem would be getting the stations to sign on from what I've read about the issue -- if you're an independent artist, and you want play on the major channels, you have to work with SoundExchange. Doesn't seem like it would be a problem for independent or small broadcasters. IMO, it's illegal collusion by a cartel, but good luck getting Clearchannel to play your song if you don't work with SoundExchange...

But IANAL, so take this with a rathr large grain of salt.

Re:Why SoundExchange? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 7 years ago | (#19718311)

It seems strange that this organization is allowed to collect on other people's work, especially since I've been given to understand that SoundExchange will not pay out royalties to the artist unless the artist in turn pays for a SoundExchange membership...

Umm... who told you membership for artists costs money? As far as I can tell, you just have to follow their membership process [soundexchange.com] , which involves signing some forms. Hell, the website explicitely says "Membership is free and open to all **sound recording copyright owners (SRCOs) and featured recording artists."

Honestly, did you research *any* of this at all?

Re:Why SoundExchange? (1)

Stefanwulf (1032430) | about 7 years ago | (#19722187)

Thank you for actually checking things out and offering sourced information rather than rumors. Even looking at their definitions of SRCOs and Featured Recording Artists, it really doesn't look like anyone who's made music is going to be charged.

Re:Why SoundExchange? (1)

EPAstor (933084) | about 7 years ago | (#19723375)

My mistake, and if I could edit my original post, I would - I really was, and am, looking for more information. Thanks for clarifying that part, and for helping to source this!

Re:Why SoundExchange? (1)

phildo420 (827619) | about 7 years ago | (#19719029)

This is an artificial barrier to entry. Before the internet, you had to get on the radio, which meant you needed a label behind you to say, "Hey, these guys are worth putting on the radio, give them a shot." etc. Now, with the internet, smaller bands (such as The Velmas) can broadcast their music online much cheaper and target people through services like Pandora, or even host their own personal internet radio channels. I could host strictly Dallas bands that are unsigned yet have recorded indie CDs and still have to pay SoundExchange. And it would cost me more to broadcast to the 30 people that listen to the station than the bands could pay me even if they WERE receiving their dues from SoundExchange. This is strictly a tool for controlling the market. SoundExchange should not be allowed to collect royalties UNTIL a band has registered with them. Until then, the radio should be able to play it freely as it is publicity for the band. I've bought 5 CDs from 4 bands I heard on Pandora that I'd never ever hear on the air. (Velmas, Martinis, Ringside, Redd Kross).

Re:Why SoundExchange? (0, Troll)

westlake (615356) | about 7 years ago | (#19722761)

Does anyone have any information as to what part of the law empowers SoundExchange to collect royalties for artists who do not have an explicit agreement with them?

SoundExchange collects and distributes all royalties under the statutory license.

If you can think of a simpler way to encourage a broadcaster to take a chance on the no-name band, a simpler way for the no-name band to be receive payment for every broadcast, let me know.

Re:Why SoundExchange? (1)

EPAstor (933084) | about 7 years ago | (#19723551)

Actually, I was curious to find out what part of the law allowed a non-governmental entity, with no codified oversight, to collect this money. Not necessarily criticizing, not claiming I had a better approach - I wanted to better understand the law behind this, since I hadn't managed to find the particular section that enabled this institution. Thanks for your feedback, though - if I do come up with a simpler way, I'll try to let you know. The only simpler way I know of now would be a Creative Commons license, which explicitly permits redistribution (and thus, I'd imagine, broadcasting) - but under the current statutory system, I'm afraid radio stations might be nervous about broadcasting something that came with an explicit license, but not a contract, when it might cause SoundExchange's data collection to produce a misleading result.

"it would agree to this" (3, Informative)

Live_in_Dayton (805960) | about 7 years ago | (#19715961)

Warning, I got a really disgusting NSFW picture when I clicked on the phrase "it would agree to this". I would advise that the link be deactivated.

Re:"it would agree to this" (1)

Choad Namath (907723) | about 7 years ago | (#19716451)

See, it pays not to RTFA!

Re:"it would agree to this" (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | about 7 years ago | (#19716653)

Picture is either removed or Live in Dayton is lying through his teeth in an attempt to get karma. I'll let the moderators call this one.

Parent is a troll, no goatse => mod down (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 7 years ago | (#19716979)

'nuff said

Re:"it would agree to this" (1)

wrudyn (867255) | about 7 years ago | (#19717545)

Same for me. After clicking "it would agree to this" and the "Press Releases" link the internet filter at work says it blocked the URL goatse.ch

Re:"it would agree to this" (1)

LoadStar (532607) | about 7 years ago | (#19717547)

The link in the article now just links to a generic Digital Music Association page with no real content, but when you click on "press releases" you now get the goatse image. Not cool.

NSFW GOATSE (5, Informative)

casings (257363) | about 7 years ago | (#19716003)

GOATSE ALERT!!!!!

Don't click the "it would agree to this link" it has either been hacked or the picture redirected to goatse!

Warning!!!!!!

Re:NSFW GOATSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19716113)

Yup.. that's gonna come up in next week's mid-year review. Thanks a lot Slashdot.

Re:NSFW GOATSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19716157)

Yup.. that's gonna come up in next week's mid-year review.

Well, it did clearly say .cfm in that link (hint: in order to see the destination of a hotlink, hover your mouse over it before clicking, the URL is then displayed in your browser's status bar, usually at the bottom).

Thanks a lot Slashdot.

You're wellcum

Re:NSFW GOATSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19716293)

Who modded this funny?

Re:NSFW GOATSE (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 7 years ago | (#19717047)

Who modded this funny?

Somebody probably moderated him funny for better punishing him later.

See, a funny point doesn't give any karma to the poster; however if another moderator then mods him down as flamebait or trool, he'll lose karma. So, modding obvious trolls as funny is a greate way to make sure that they can lose more than 2 points per post...

Basically, the sewer is the limit: if you're enough moderators, first mod funny, then troll, lather, rinse, repeat.

Oh, and yes: punishment he deserves, because there is actually no goat on that page...

Re:NSFW GOATSE (1)

not-admin (943926) | about 7 years ago | (#19718231)

In all honesty there was a goatse image on that page. Be right back, I need to stab my eyes with a fork.

Re:NSFW GOATSE (1)

casings (257363) | about 7 years ago | (#19718309)

There was when I clicked the link, jackass.

You think the goatse would stay up forever? It was a defacement, and I was just trying warn people, hence why I was moderated as informative rather than trolling.

And you would think that I would have been moderated as trolling if there hadn't been originally.

Thanks for the input though.

Re:NSFW GOATSE (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | about 7 years ago | (#19717205)

No need to be alarmed. That's just the RIAA's "Customer Relations" page on their site.

Fight the Music police! (2, Informative)

johnarama (1076177) | about 7 years ago | (#19716055)

I don't like this idea of royalties. Radio (online or off) PROMOTES music, so that listeners are able to decide what they want to BUY! Music fans have a new option for hearing and sharing music, there's encrypted file sharing apps, such as GigaTribe ( http://www.gigatribe.com/ [gigatribe.com] ), that let people share music without big brother looking over their shoulder.

Re:Fight the Music police! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19716969)

So you think (traditional) radio stations deserve the (declining) piles of advertising cash that they bring in? Many people only listen to music on the radio and never buy, so it makes sense to me that the artists get a little kick-back for giving the radio stations something to play.

Re:Fight the Music police! (1)

DerangedAlchemist (995856) | about 7 years ago | (#19718935)

So you think (traditional) radio stations deserve the (declining) piles of advertising cash that they bring in? Many people only listen to music on the radio and never buy, so it makes sense to me that the artists get a little kick-back for giving the radio stations something to play.

In the US artists pay the radio station to be played. Something around $100 000/year for a hit song (although this goes through middlemen selling playlists). This is done because the advertising effect of being heard results in bigger sales.

Re:Fight the Music police! (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | about 7 years ago | (#19723591)

I wish I had mod points. This is exactly correct. In fact, I have a few bands that I wrote down to research while listening to a shoutcast stream the other day.

Sell the CDs at the right price ($5-$10), and use streaming just like radio...as advertisement. Yeah, I can use streamripper to save it. I can also record stuff from the radio. Both are lower quality than what I would buy if I like what I hear, so if I hear something new, I'd be likely to buy it if the business model wasn't so fscked up.

The intent of this "cap" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19716317)

The intent of this cap is to separate the small broadcasters from the large broadcasters.

If you're making $100K/year, maybe you don't mind paying $30K protection money.

If you're doing this as a hobby (or close to it), $30K is still unreasonable, but at least they've driven a wedge between the small stations and probably stopped adoption of less favorable (to the RIAA/Soundexchange) rules. This is about as cynical thing as you'd expect from these guys. Because they're only proposing this rule for 1 year.

Minor error in article (1)

diversiform (1085477) | about 7 years ago | (#19716759)

It says "The Copyright Royalty that set the new online radio royalty rates . . ." but should probably say "The Copyright Royalty Board that set the new online radio royalty rates . . ."

These are the entities formerly known as Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panels ("CARP"). True story: these were (very briefly) known as Copyright Royalty Arbitration Panels (which makes more sense, actually), but no one wanted to serve on a CRAP panel so they had to change the name.

"non profit broadcaster?" (1, Troll)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about 7 years ago | (#19716895)

If you want to broadcast not-for-profit, i don't see any reason why rightsholders should have to subsidize your fantasy by giving you a lower rate. Can somebody who disagrees with me tell me why, exactly, they believe that I am wrong? I really see no other way around it. We don't insist that PBS be allowed to rebroadcast monday night football simply because it's not for profit. Why should some webcaster, no matter what his scale, be allowed to suck away listeners from people who pay a market value for the content if it's the *same* content, if not even better since we can assume that it would be without or with fewer ads?

Re:"non profit broadcaster?" (2, Informative)

wuzfuzzy (839106) | about 7 years ago | (#19717213)

Do you have a clue what this is all about? The main problem with these new rate is that all stations must pay for each song per channel PER LISTENER. All the stations are willing to pay a percentage of income just like SAT radio does, even though Traditional radio doesn't pay one red cent.

Re:"non profit broadcaster?" (2, Informative)

lessermilton (863868) | about 7 years ago | (#19717787)

non-profit (at least the pure term) refers to stations like your local public radio.

Radio's customers are NOT the listeners. Their customers are their advertisers. Their commodity is YOU, the loyal listener. Their product is not music, music is simply one of their expenses.

Non-profit radio stations don't really have customers. At the most you could call either the listener, or the artists the customers. Listener, most likely, as you're the one who may or may not donate to them.

Non-profit radio stations, by virtue of who and what they are, (AFAIK) are legally only allowed to play music that they have permission to play. Indie bands/copyleftists who don't mind if people share their music because they know the money comes from playing live, rather than music purchases. Just ask any big name artist where the major % comes from - records or concerts.

And if you want to own a physical copy of the CD, you can usually contact the artist directly, and 100% of the profits go to them, rather than 2-3c on the $15+.

Re:"non profit broadcaster?" (1)

westlake (615356) | about 7 years ago | (#19722823)

Non-profit radio stations, by virtue of who and what they are, (AFAIK) are legally only allowed to play music that they have permission to play.

The statutory license grants permission to play damn near everything. That is what all the shouting is about.

Silly boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19721125)

Neither radio nor TV pays royalties based on the number of listeners or viewers.

Why should everybody subsidize the RIAA's fantasies about royalties?

we want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19718083)

one hundred billion dollars! muahahahaha

doesn't exist huh? thousands of stations you say huh? out of business you say? we don't want you disappearing before we can milk you some more. uhm.. a billion then? could you pay that?
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