RIAA Pushes Through Internet Radio Royalty Rates Designed To Kill Webcasts

from the broadcasters-must-be-a-special-boys-club dept

It’s been quite some time since we last heard about arguments between internet webcasters and SoundExchange (a group spun off from the RIAA to handle royalty collection). Back in the summer of 2003, there was even a lawsuit over the royalties being set, that were pretty clearly designed to put smaller, independent webcasters out of business. From the RIAA’s point of view, this is perfectly typical. They still view the world (especially the internet) as a broadcast medium. Therefore, they want at small number of “professional” content producers who create the content for everyone else. Then they can just sign a few ridiculously large licenses with those large players, and “the people” get to consume it. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the internet as a communications medium — a medium where people express themselves back and forth to each other, rather than a place we go sit back and “consume.” While the fight had gotten quiet lately, the good old RIAA was hard at work making sure that things were happening in the background. A bunch of folks submitted stories this weekend noting that late Friday (making it less likely to make news), the Copyright Royalty Board announced that it was adopting the royalty rates SoundExchange put forth, and making them effective retroactively to the beginning of 2006 — meaning that many small independent webcasters are now facing a tremendous royalty bill they’re unlikely to be able to afford (thanks to everyone who sent this in).

That last link goes through the impact of all of this on various players — and it’s not pretty. The new rates pretty much decimate a large portion of the industry. And, it’s only going to get worse, as the royalty rates increase at incredible rates (“2007’s rate is a 37.5% increase over 2006; 2008 and 2009’s annual increases are about 28% per year; and 2010 adds another 5.5% increase.”) Of course, this is utterly backwards and damaging to the industry itself. A webcaster (especially the smaller, independent ones) is a great means of promotion for artists. It tends to attract more loyal and well-targeted audiences, who are more likely to want to later go out and buy a CD, a t-shirt or attend a concert. It lets the industry better promote material from a wider range of artists. However, in the industry’s desperate need to charge for every single use, they’re effectively killing off yet another wonderful promotional vehicle. The industry continues to think that it needs to do this because it wants to own all distribution and promotional avenues in order to be able to continue to take its large cut. However, that’s no reason for the Copyright Royalty Board to put in place these artificial barriers that only serve to protect the recording industry’s outdated understanding of its own business model.

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Comments on “RIAA Pushes Through Internet Radio Royalty Rates Designed To Kill Webcasts”

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Jason (user link) says:

I wish you were right about the artists owning their music, however once they sign a contract they don’t necessarily own anything aside from a right to x% of gross sales.

This latest news is bad news of course, for everyone. I recently read that MTV doesn’t even pay royalties on the videos they play. If the royalty rates were reasonable that would be one thing…if they can find a formula that doesn’t overwhelm webcasters that’s fine, but something tells me they want a ridiculous amount. One guy just posted on Digg that he worked at a terrestrial radio station that had to pay $400/song played, simply outrageous! No wonder there’s so damn many commercials…and no wonder I no longer listen to radio anymore!!!

Anyways, the RIAA should focus on eliminating middlemen and lowering CD prices…and they better enjoy their lawsuits while they can, because lots of file-sharers are making the switch to encrypted file-sharing solutions like GigaTribe, which keep people out of the radar ( http://www.gigatribe.com ).

James says:

Re: Vote

I agree completely. Imagine if a month, or two or three were to go by w/a 90% – 100% reduction in CD and DVD sales.

After I got done laughing from the news headlines, and the MAFIAA’s belly-aching (assuming we saw news about it in such a short time), perhaps they might come up w/some real ideas instead of the BS they keep feeding people.

I haven’t bought a CD or DVD in forever and I don’t plan to start now, personally, I wish everyone else would do the same for a while.

chris (profile) says:

it's not about money, it's about control

“artists” stopped making music in the 70’s. that’s when labels stopped “finding” artists and started manufacturing them. look at any formulaic genre… boy bands, hair metal, gangsta rap, it’s all manufactured.

if the world can just start “finding” music on it’s own, there is little need for expensive management, expensive studio magic, and expensive proprietary formats. in short, there is little need for a music industry any more.

the RIAA and it’s internet offshoot would just love for us to give up this internet nonsense and go back to letting the radio tell us what to buy and letting the music store tell us how to buy it.

Kaizoman says:

Re: @$#% RIAA

I don’t know that they can make something like that retroactive. There is some very powerful case law built up in court about contracts.

Just like the government can’t make a law retroactive, you can’t just make a contract or a payment retroactive. This may be a special case, but there is a case to be made.

On all other points though, just sit back and watch the next nail in the recording industries coffin.

DJ says:

Re: Non RIAA music?

but it is hard to tell who is and who isn’t since the RIAA “represents” so many different labels. Is there a site out there that lists who is and who isn’t?

Musicians that don’t participate in the RIAA’s reign of extortion should have a logo they can display on their website or CDs.

C’mon people, let’s get this done!

Mercury Merlin (user link) says:

iRate radio looks interesting for independent musi

I’m experimenting with iRate radio:
as a way of discovering independent music without having to search through everything myself.

Seems to require a bit of training initially so it can tell what you like, but if it does what it says on the tin then I think it might be just the job for easily letting me try all sorts of freely available music and happen across things I might like, which is the problem I otherwise have, of not hearing indie songs on the radio and not having any idea which of the thousands of bands out there I might like.

So I’ll see how I get on with iRate, nice thing also is you automagically get all the MP3’s for the songs played dropped neatly onto your hard-drive, just ready to transfer the ones you like to portable player. I’ll be playing around with it a bit more, and might blog about how I get on, but if it does the trick with “discoverability” of all the music out there then I think I might not ever need major-label purchased music again.

Found the link to it I think from the Magnatune site, another group who seem to have “got it” and are trying the right kind of new approach.

August West says:

Does it matter?

Every artiist I like that I searched for at riaaradar came up safe. I’m mostly hippe jam band bluegrass and jazz based music. So I wonder who actually uses RIAA?

If they keep up this idiocy (and it does not take a rocket scientist to see that they are doing this for their benefit at the expense of the artists fan base (and thus the artists’ careers), then all artists will bail from their association with these cretins as soon as they can. And then they will no longer exist.

You can only shoot yourself so many times before you eventaully get it right and actually die…..

Gabe says:

Re: Does it matter?

Unfortunately, there is nothing stopping the CRB from implementing this sort of thing retroactively. The US constitution prohibits Ex Post Facto laws, but this is a regulation. Essentially, the law says that anyone who publishes material for which a copyright exists is subject to these regulations.

The bottom line is that the RIAA did an end-around the legislative process and went straight to political apointees, who are typically easier to bribe and cajole.

The simplest, and most effective way to tell the RIAA how you feel about the issue is to pirate music. Since pirated music is still basically in a sort of legal limbo, lobby your politicians to do nothing, and to ignore the RIAA’s lobbying.

Ayal Rosenthal says:

The unfortunate part of this is that the major players in the radio industry will now be the only competitors that are also able to afford the developing internet-based radio for vehicles. This decreases the choice for consumers and may turn people off the medium, the net effect of which may be reduced royalties for artists.

Anonymous Coward says:



@17 and 19

The reason they can make it retroactive is that the old fee structure expired at the end of 2005, To continue being covered by the license they needed to agree that whenever a new fee was agreed to that it would be retoractive. Their option was to go dark on 12/31/2005.

Finally, this smells less like a recording industry initiative and more like a broadcast industry initiative.

August West says:

Re: Re:



Thanks for this info. Bruce Hornsby has forums at hiw website and he actually reads them and replies often. I’m going to have to ask him whats going on. Riaaradar lists his albums as safe and boycott riaa lists him as an RIAA artist.

I hope he has a new contract or something that excludes all the RIAA crap. After all, he IS totally taper friendly and encourages free trading of his live shows. Its helped him delevlop a pretty rabid following since he’s so amazing live and varies his songs so much over time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: retroactive rates

“The reason they can make it retroactive is that the old fee structure expired at the end of 2005, To continue being covered by the license they needed to agree that whenever a new fee was agreed to that it would be retoractive. Their option was to go dark on 12/31/2005.”

Exactly! Much like labor contracts, if the people continue to use the service without an agreed upon contract, all activity done between the end of one deal and the start of the next is going to be charged at the new rate as if there was never a break in the agreement.

I would hazard a guess that most broadcasters have been budgeting for this hit (or else they have bad accounting skills), so there shouldn’t be that much of an affect on their stations.

Inge (user link) says:

Re: Re: retroactive rates

No, we have not budgeted for this, nor have we known anything about this issue.
If we would have known, especially the retro-active stuff, we would have never went into business in the first place.

We are paying for our radio out of our own pockets every month, because we enjoy doing what we are doing.

There is no way we can pay the fees they are asking for.

What the RIAA is doing is OUTRAGOUS!

Gwen says:

That's it. I've had enough!

I used to buy CDs by the dozens per month in the early 90’s. Then ClearChannel moved into my region and annihilated any semblance of new or fresh music. I stopped buying CDs.

When I was introduced to internet radiio (streaming music) and I was again exposed to fresh and new music I supported the artists (not the conglomerates) by buying CDs again. I supported the provider (radioparadise.com) with voluntary contributions.

Well, I have been fooled twice now. No more. I’m done. Do you hear me RIAA/MPAA/ClearChannel/M$? I will no longer buy your products. I will no longer listen to the drivel that you spew over the airwaves. I will not purchase DRM infected Vista. You all can choke on soon to be non existant revenue. Good riddance to you.

And in case any of the bloodsucking leaches happen to read this…I’m a 47 year old female with an annual income of 70k…One of your favored *target* groups. And believe me, I plan to evangelize my friends to this way of thinking.

R.C. Shaw says:

Re: That's it. I've had enough!

Why do you lump MS in there for having Digital Rites Management? Granted it keept me from ripping and transfering some of the songs that I legally owned the CDs to, but it doesn’t just keep you from ripping and burning RIAA supported labels. It protects big and small artists from theft and MS from RIAA… well that is theft too. I used to think “what the heck, why isn’t it all free?” Then I had my thumb drive with Gigs of data I had produced stolen. I understand a little of what artists feel when their music is stolen. Not just by people illegally downloading their music, but also when they realize after they sign their contract how they are getting raped by the RIAA with a sandpaper condom. MS is a big name but even they fear the massive stupidity and collective pockets of the RIAA. With these new fees passed I’m wondering how many of those pockets were emptied into the pockets of the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board’s members. Granted I feel that MS should be an Internet champion rather than folding in to RIAA’s demands. In the end they are a company responsible to its shareholders to turn a profit. Even if Mr. Gates wanted to play the hero it would be dishonest, irresponsible and bad business management. He’d have to go through a board first and even if they wanted to do the same it would be just as bad. All said and done it is the government’s (U.S. Copyright Royalty Board) responsibility to protect our rights, freedoms and interests. Obviously they aren’t doing their job and prefer to protect the rights, freedoms and interests of a chosen few who enhance their wages.

Jeff (user link) says:

This is easy to fix

Netmusique runs only non-RIAA associated music. We have specifically purged any related music from our library and deal directly with artists and thier labels.

We are unable to turn any profit because of the cost of running this type of operation yet RIAA sent us a bill in 2003 for $75000. Its a scam to get control of all distribution channels so that only thier content is heard.

Unless you are into the stuff you can hear on most over the air broadcasts then there really isnt much worry.

NickC says:

I used to buy CDs by the dozens per month in the early 90’s.

Me too. All throughout the 80s and 90s I bought indie music by the bucketload. Now I just buy bigger hard disks and download the lot. I can’t stand their tactics, so I will (and have) vote with my wallet.

I will never buy anything by a RIAA/MPAA backed media company. I absolutely LOVE Hats Off To The Busker Man album by The View but I will NEVER buy it because it’s a Sony label. Until they get the picture they won’t get my money. I think the last album I actually bought was direct from Nizlopi’s own website. F**k the RIAA labels.

Any website I set up gets a RIAA/MPAA blocking .htaccess on it automatically.

Stray Dog says:

What happens when the next wave of artists inevitably decide they’re better off not using a record company period and just put out music by themselves? Most musicians I’ve talked to aren’t that crazy about getting a record deal. They are concerned about getting their CDs pressed and supporting it, but the economics of the music industry make it more worthwhile to sell their own CDs and T-shirts at shows and leave some behind to sell on consignment. To them getting into the file-sharing system is a sign of success because it means people are hearing them and might roll out to their shows.

Phil (user link) says:

Unsigned music is getting easier to find now days

There are plenty of sites to find new, fresh, RIAA free music. I happen to own one of them, and I find so many artists that actually have talent, it’s amazing that they are often not heard.

Our Artist of the Month, is a girl from Russia, who now lives in LA. She has a Phenomonal voice. She’s not signed. I love the metal genre, and all that’s out there is the screamo — I’ve found several “old school bands” that I regularly play on my radio show.

The RIAA will die soon enough, hopefully with a little help from me 🙂

Up the Irons!!


ReallyInsecureAnalAdolphs says:

Re: Unsigned music is getting easier to find now d

The worst part is, the RIAA is using Soundexchange to collect these royalties, even for stations that play non-RIAA music.

So no matter what you do, if you want to be legal, you’re paying the RIAA. Someone needs to resurrect Teddy Roosevelt and get him to bust this trust.

Kelly says:

Easy Fix

Everyone stop buying music for 6 months. Don’t buy a single thing for 6 months and they will scream bloody murder. Then we say “drop the RIAA, drop this internet radio royalty and we will buy again.”

Sometimes its forgotten that in the end its the people with the money who buy things that have all the power. Don’t buy it and it will kill off any idiocy.

Anonymous Coward says:

The one problem no one talks about is that artists sign these stupid contracts to get up front money.

No one needs a label deal anymore. You don’t need the label’s money to make a record. You don’t need a label’s money to manufacture and package discs anymore. You don’t need a label’s money for promotion. You don’t need a label’s money from distribution.

But a label waves a few hundred grand advance in front of a band and they sign the stupid contract.

T-Boogie (user link) says:

From an Internet Network

I am the depertment head at one of the largest U.S Based Internet Radio Network. 1(dot)FM. Our network is ranked #2 on the November Andomedia Ranker(Above ESPN Radio, ABC Radio, and other MAJOR broadcasters that stream online).

1.FM has 26 Internet Radio stations that broadcast around the clock. Bringing in 32,000+ concurrent listeners every weekday.

At the new rate put forth by the CRB, our retroactive bill for 2006 is in the area of…..


YES… $3.6 Million!!!! Just for 2006!

or about

$8,000 – 12,000/Day!!!!!

Just for soundexchange, not to mention network cost(Servers, bandwidth, ect.), which is already in the thousands a day.

This move by the CRB has one plan in mind…

Move all Internet broadcasters OUT THE WAY, and make room for the majors such as Clear Channel. Who have MAJOR money to spend and are extremely interested in the Internet Radio market.

This is totally UNFAIR!!!!!


Is going to force us and our competition radio networks to damn near bankruptcy, if not that!!!


I encourage you to visit the following site to find out more on how you can help!


Holla back. tboogie[at]wblk.com

Jeff (user link) says:

Re: From an Internet Network

So the one thing you dont mention is that you are broadcasting RIAA content – why do you think its unfair that they want to control the delivery of what they rightfully control?

The problem with RIAA – besides the fact that they are self serving – is that they have reached BEYOND what they have rights over. If you want keep broadcasting, maybe should retool your playlists.

James says:

Re: Re: From an Internet Network

Actually retooling playlists will not help as the orginal DMCA laws gave the RIAA’s newly formed and created body SoundExchange a blanket monoploy to collect for digital transmision of music (webcasters, podcasters, on demand streaming, sattelite, websites, etc.) weather the artist/musican and record label belong to Sound Excahnge or not.

Badmonkey (user link) says:

We will fight, will you help?

Sorry this is so long, but please read it because this is very important. Without your help, ThereIsNoRadio may very soon be no longer able to provide you with shows like Lenay D’s Musical Saturday Mornings, The Don Stugots Experience, The Music that Mikey Likes, DJNewStyle, Suburban Shakedown, Kieska UK’s Weekly Showcase, Hear It Loud Radio, RobOnt Radio, Hate the Radio, Fandick, and The Badmonkey Show/The Asylum. In fact, without your help, no other internet radio station will likely be around to provide them either.

To be clear from the beginning, I beleive that the artists that we play at ThereIsNoRadio deserve payment for their work. The vast majority of the artists played at TiNR are hand chosen and mixed in with more popular music as an effort to promote them and encourage sales of their music. Many of them are artists like Fishbone that you will not hear on traditional corporate radio and it is stations like ours that get the word out about these artists. The artists in our heaviest rotation fall into this category.

The Copyright Royalty Board announced on Friday the increase in royalties for internet radio. The board rejected all arguments made by webcasters and adopted the proposal from SoundExchange (the royalty collection agency created by the RIAA). The rates we have been paying for the last year are the 2005 rates. The new rates for 2006 will be charged to us retroactively and they will increase every year for the foreseeable future. By 2009, we will be paying over twice the royalty cost per listener that we paid in 2005, which is way beyond our means at this point without a serious change in the way we do things. I do not have any desire to fill the station up with constant commercial ads to make up the difference in royalties. We do not have the corporate backing to cover this cost.

The new royalty rates will look like this:
2006 – $.0008 per performance
2007 – $.0011 per performance
2008 – $.0014 per performance
2009 – $.0018 per performance
2010 – $.0019 per performance

1 performance = 1 play of one song multiplied by the number of listeners tuned in for any part of it.

At 100 connections almost constantly tuned in for the year, we will owe about $864 in royalty payments per month or $10,368 for the year. If we get to 1000 listeners for the majority of the day, we will owe around $103,3680 for the year. These numbers are just the 2006 rates at $0.0008 per performance. As you can see, by 2008 at $0.0014 per performance, we will owe about $3,024/month and $36,288 per year with just 100 listeners. We do not know yet what we will owe the RIAA in retroactive charges for 2006.

These rates do not include the other royalty payments we make to SESAC and ASCAP. These rates also do not include the cost of bandwidth and server capacity. This may very well destroy not just ThereIsNoRadio, but also all non-corporate backed LEGAL internet radio. This will not affect the hundreds of thousands of internet radio stations operating illegally without paying royalties.

Everyone involved in ThereIsNoRadio is here only for their love of radio and none of us make a dime from it. As you can see from the above, we spend money to make these shows possible without any expectation of compensation.

What can you do?
Write to, or
Call your Representatives: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Call your Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contac…nators_cfm.cfm
Call the Copyright Royalty Board: http://www.loc.gov/crb/contact/

Let them know that if they support this, they are willfully supporting the destruction of free and independent media, the interests of big business, and the silencing of our voices. Make sure they understand that they will not be receiving your vote if they refuse to intervene on behalf of small webcasters nationwide and force the Copyright Royalty Board and the RIAA to come up with reasonable royalty rates that do not threaten the existance of non-corporate owned internet radio. These rates only hurt those of us operating within the law. They do not do anything to stop piracy and they will not stop the pirate internet radio stations that continue to operate without paying royalties now.

Thank you all for supporting ThereIsNoRadio for as long as you have. I sincerely hope you will be able to continue that support.

For more information please also visit:



somesadservicemember says:


41 beat me to it, but on the surface, this seems to me like a push from big broadcast (Clear Channel, et al) to put their rivals to bed. Anti-competetiveness at it’s finest. The constant legislating that benefits special interests (big business) at the expense of the consumer is downright sickening. Sometimes it makes me sick to live in this country and, while I didn’t used to, I wonder why I’ve given up 15.5 years of my life serving this country with an obligation of 4.5 more. Sad

Dan (profile) says:

RIAA Did This On Purpose

The RIAA put through a retroactive royalty increase a few years ago that drove a lot of music sites off the Web, and this looks like the same tactic to get the rest of them: close up shop or pay the royalty increase. I would say this is aimed at Live365, Pandora, Mercora and others that were just hanging on.

I feel for the 1(dot)fm guy who posted above. If a real FM station had only 32,000 listeners at any given time, that would make it a very small market station which probably only generates a 6-figure income a year. I guarantee they’re not paying $3.6 million a year to the RIAA! Why can’t Internet stations be treated the same as terrestrial radio stations? Obviously, the RIAA is trying to help Clear Channel and Entercom to eliminate competition.

Daviid Hill (user link) says:

clearly this is the RIAA’s twisted utopia and not beneficial to the general public good as spelled out in the core value of copyright law.

My overall feeling is that commercial entities (namely the Big 4 record labels) attempting to convert the Internet into a “viable cash cow” with this skewed decision consider the public trust nothing more than a line item on their balance sheets. We have the power to talk to one another like never before and the economic principle of demand has shaped itself into it’s most literal form.

This new medium responds only to respect, not control. Armed with but a few basic Constitutional rights and a network, we ultimately have the power to shape today’s market. You’d think by now most would be plugged in enough to adopt this as the new found conventional wisdom. Companies and organizations that wish to join us back at the bargaining table will prosper. Those that refuse will expire.

The basic flaws within this decision include a complete misunderstanding of what internet radio is by comparing it to subscription based or on-demand models. Apparently the RIAA was yet again successful in pullling the wool over a clueless panel’s eyes by suggesting webcasting is flush with fees or add revenue. Not to mention the underlying implication it promote piracy.

It won’t, but should this decision result in killing off the small independent webcaster….do yourself a favor and bet your bottom dollar that the record industry’s sales numbers will plummet to a point barely above Davey Jones locker.

Seerak says:

if the world can just start “finding” music on it’s own, there is little need for expensive management, expensive studio magic, and expensive proprietary formats. in short, there is little need for a music industry any more.

Then why aren’t all the Slashdot anti-copyright whiners doing that?

Get off your asses and start finding the artists yourselves. Get them to release their work under GPL, or Creative Commons, or whatever (and figure out how to help them get paid, if you want them to keep creating.)

The RIAA has NO CONTROL WHATSOEVER over you, nor over artists they haven’t signed — only over their own content. And as #7 says, it’s all been manufactured crap since the 70’s anyway, so who cares about their catalog?

Let them sink themselves, there’s nothing of value in their catalog anyhow.


Paul says:

Then why aren’t all the Slashdot anti-copyright whiners doing that?

Problem is, most people who care about this issue (myself included) already are – I don’t buy from RIAA artists, encourage CC listening and usage and DRM-free music.

The problem is, most other people aren’t aware of the problems yet. More people are aware as services like net radio make them realise the difference between, say, ClearChannel and good independent music. That’s why the RIAA are doing this – cut off the educational channels for the masses to realise what’s happening.

|333173|3|_||3 says:

Why don’t they move operations overseas? A simple way to do that would be to set up a company in thier chosen country and simply own all the shares in it.

The RIAA are more like an out-of-control NSDAP group rather than a Stalinist Elite since they are not offiaially part of the state, do not have reserved lanes on the roads, and don’t get purged. Instead, they use the threat of the law spuriously but effectively, act in the name of the law, have thier own enforcement officers, issue fines, act outside the law, but are connected to the governemnt by personal and economic ties.

vic sapphire says:

If the ‘net radio stations all pack up and go overseas to broadcast, the next move of the RIAA will undoubtedly be to work on having their cronies in the US government look to China for ideas on how to block “undesirable” non-domestic content from entering the US netspace.

I for one will not be surprised when that starts to happen, will you? Who’s writing all the big checks in this scheme, after all?

James Jones (user link) says:

RIAA out of their minds

This is so completely ridiculous it fairly boggles the mind.

Surely they must realize that a little bit of something is a lot better than a whole lot of nothing. As an internet broadcaster, I have paid fees even though for the most part I have lost money in this enterprise, and have really only kept doing it for two reasons: First, because it is intriguing and gives an opportunity to provide formatics unavailable or undelivered by large radio enterprises, and secondly, because I find it helpful to stay in the fray and be able to relate to the industry I serve in other capacities through my day-job.

As a long-time radio person, I have always found licensing agencies have been a bain to the industry. Ironic, since the radio business made the record industry what it is today. Without radio, billions and billions and billions of dollars would never have been generated in record and CD sales over the last 50 years.

If the RIAA goes ahead with this plan, I may be forced to move operations to the Cayman Islands. One thing is for damn sure: Nothing could be more un-American than what the RIAA is trying to do now.

The lawyers and the suits at RIAA and the Sound Exchange are going to learn in very short order about the power of the people. They have gone too far, and we need to take action as a group to stop this madness once and for all.

Val (user link) says:

another webcaster in danger of extinction

This is like a never ending nightmare. I was one of the streamcasters that fought this back in 2002. Will they never stop? These rates have absolutely nothing in common with the actual economics of the streaming industry. Most of us are enthusiasts, hobbiest and passionate radio people, who left the traditional medium to seek out a way to play new music in all kinds of genres. At gotradio.com, we play native american music, celtic music, blues, bluegrass, women’s alternative, world and support indie bands. This is music that NEVER EVER was supported in terrestrial radio. We have fought to create a medium that would support and promote the largest variety of genres. Help us people!!! go to savenetradio.org and let’s stop the bullys on the block.

DJ Sinister Kane (user link) says:

This only affects Major Label music

You know there is a lot of hype about the fiasco that is raising the rates internet radio broadcasters are paying to play big label music. People are going so far to say that internet radio will disappear completely because hobbyists (such as myself), small stations, etc won’t be able to pay the fees.

One thing that seems to be overlooked is the vast wealth of quality music available on the net by independent and unsigned artists. These artists for the most part will allow pod casters, internet radio DJ’s, etc to play there stuff for free, in return we give props to the artists and provide links back to the artists websites where the listeners can purchase the CD’s (for much, much less then the big labels charge).

So what the hell does this all mean? Well I personally think that it could end up being a wake up call for the RIAA and others. If all the small stations, hobbyists, etc band together and stop playing major label music in our shows and find content that is equally as good from independent artists (and most could use the added exposure as well), it’ll send the message to the controlling bodies that
a) we don’t like their method of business and won’t stand for it,
b) we do have other OPTIONS other than being forced to play by their rules.

Not only that, but the bands that need and really deserve the promotion/exposure end up getting it. I mean do you think Metallica or Hinder really need anyone to promote their music??

This could be a huge benefit to the independent bands and the stations that promote them…

That’s just my $0.02

Wade / DJ Sinister Kane
Noise Pollution Podcast

Rick (user link) says:

RIAA Tyranny

This is just attempt on the part of RIAA to maintain their monopoly over recording artists. The RIAA and their constituents don’t want any competition from a their illegitimate son. There only solution is to kill the baby like the TV broadcasters tried to do to cable TV years ago. If recording artist want to sell their music they better put the shackles on RIAA. If they don’t RIAA will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Andrew Chase says:

The WalMartization Of Music & Radio Continues

It seems like the RIAA is Hell-bent on doing to the music industry and to radio what WalMart has done to the grocery and retail industries.

I for one have already voiced my displeasure to the CRB, emailed my Congressmen, and posted this issue on every site I regularly visit. We need to get together to put a stop to this shit!

Here’s another petition to sign- http://www.savethestreams.org

Steve says:

People are missing one big issue here

Everyone failed to mention that these rates aren’t just for RIAA artists, they are for ALL copyrighted music. Bruce Hornsby included. This is a major blow to all artists, all webcasters and most importantly, the consumer. Please use your voice and contact your Representatives in Congress because it’s going to take an act of Congress to stop these fees from shutting down most webcasters.

DJ Sinister Kane (user link) says:

Re: People are missing one big issue here

You’re right, I didn’t see anything that spoke to the RIAA or anyone else collecting Royalties on music doesn’t fall under their ‘agreements’ with the artists.

Who is going to collect royalties on music by independent artists? And how do the proceeds make it back to the artist?

If you have some literature to back up what your saying, please link it, otherwise you might want to reread the articles.

NewAgeGuy (profile) says:

The warning signs were ignored

What’s interesting is that Webcasters were forewarned about the possibility of a rate surge months in advance on KurtHanson’s site, David Oxenford’s legal blog even the SHOUTcast forum and the SpacialAudio forum. Yet most people didn’t heed those warnings. It was just “business as usual”.

Now suddenly the music community is up in arms about the issue — acting as if nobody could even fathom such an outcome. Err, right.

Ann Nightingale (user link) says:

Independent Artists may benefit -- Not all Interne

I support the concept of maximum radio diversity. I can fully appreciate the concerns that those stations which broadcast PRO-licensed music have and hope that they are successful in having the legislation overturned.

However, there will still be Internet Radio, whether or not the rates are rescinded. Independent artists have been struggling to have their music heard despite the RIAA, the Big Four, and ClearChannel, and have found a way to do this through Internet Radio sites such as SongPlanet.com.

At these sites, artists who are as good as or better than many on the mainstream sites, have negotiated individual (usually royalty-free) licenses with these stations in order to get their music in the hands and ears of the audience.

Listeners should take some solace, though, knowing that great music will still exist on the Internet even if the legislation holds.

Support independent artists on Internet Radio.

Ann Nightingale
SongPlanet.com and SongPlanet Radio

Rob Willhite (user link) says:

Online Radio sites may drop RIAA artists

Some Online Radio sites may eventually drop RIAA artists in favor of independent artists with no record deal and no ties to the RIAA anyway. The RIAA is ensuring that they (and their artists) will not be included in online streaming. Because of advances in technology, its easy enough for artists to record, promote and distribute their music entirely on there own through the web. The music industry has force-fed music consumers for long enough. Its time for people to discover music based on the music, not some industry marketing campaign.


keith shackelford says:

Its a shame a new source of entertainment,falling

FREEDOM TO DISREGARD YOUR ROYALTY RATES.What options do webcasters have to calculate retro billing?Besides that advertising will dictate rates.If I play you a song on the telephone privacy rights trump any atempt to bill. whats the differance this medium is not open broadcasting.The listener must chose to access stream.If they win royalty control the whole internet including all media will be effected.

Steven Campeggi (user link) says:

Get A Clue!!!!

All of the comments sound like a bunch of cry babies who believe that they should get something for nothing. Internet broadcasters play lots of my music on the internet, of which I don’t get a penny and it has not done anything to increase my physical CD sales or download sales through iTunes or the other legal sites. So my personal experience is that internet radio only benefits the broadcaster from a traffic standpoint and does nothing for Indie artists like me. Heck why should someone pay to purchase my music when they can hear it for free on the internet. I hope all you all go out of business, then maybe people will start buying my music again!!!!

Nuthead says:

Re: Get A Clue!!!!

I could not believe it when I read your comment…Even Steven! “Internet broadcasters play lots of my music on the internet, of which I don’t get a penny and it has not done anything to increase my physical CD sales or download sales through iTunes or the other legal sites.” How do you qualify this comment? I can tell you that if you were unknown to me, but, by chance I hear your song on the stations I listen to and like it, You would probably get my business. I am one of those people who make regular purchases to broaden my music library with fresh music. Leave it to a musician to get political…what a fool!

DonMusica says:

Steven, you ignorant slut


How would you ever know that your physical CD sales are not higher than they would be if internet radio did not exist? How can you tell whether your sales come from net radio or traditional radio or someplace else?

Also, keep in mind that many of them ARE paying royalties today so if you are not getting any revenues now, how will higher rates affect you? It seems to me like the RIAA is retaining all of the revenues they currently receive, which further fuels the argument that this agreement does not help anyone, not even artists such as yourself! I don’t think anyone has been trying to get broadcasts for free, but at least keep the current rate structure. What additional revenues will you get if all of the stations go silent?


DJ Satin says:

reply to comment # 72

A webcast with a Disk Jockey will promote the recorded artist, webcast represents, just by telling the listing audience about the artist and where the cd’s can be purchased.
a Disk Jockey on the air will keep the public informed about the recorded artist it is a public service. Webcasting provides free advertising to musician their radio braodcast plays. You don’t even realize this Steven?
are you being played by a interent radio station? if so take in consideration your potential buyer will hear your song being played on a internet station and if they like what they hear will be motivated to make a purchase of your CD.

Lunarsight (user link) says:

You all know the answer.

Stop purchasing music from large record labels.

Supposedly, album sales are down right now by 20%. Let’s really make them squirm, and push their album sales down even further.

There are plenty of alternatives out there – support independent and small label musicians. Also, support artists who make their music freely downloadable. (It’s a nice way to fill up an iPod without having to fear litigation from a heartless corporate machine.)

Sky 1968 says:

What to do?

This is another example of what RFK Jr. called
“Corporate Dictatorship”.
What to do? We need to be polically active.
Make sure the voting stations are honest.
Try to get progressive Dems in there but we have to be careful about splitting the vote with a Nader. I like Nader but he helped make this mess by keeping Gore out of office. He wasn’t a spoiler like John Anderson when Reagan won, but he never-the-less put Bush into office.
Letting our Reps know how we feel is also absolutely neccessary. Getting cantidates lined up now is needed too and DFA is a good place to put your energy. Even local offices have power and are a good place to start since we need people who can win the Sec. of State offices which control each states voting procedures and help keep them honest. That also helped lose the last two elections making this ‘Corporate Dictatorship’ a reality.
We need smart, articulate, and, oh yeah, clean people, ;>), who will take the plunge and run.
BlackWater is for hire by the highest bidder so storming the bastile isn’t in the cards. Yet.
Watch your backs if you get involved.
My best wishes to all lovers of Freedom and music.

no_roylaties_for_you says:

I hate rich guys

You know what this is? This isn’t about giving the money to the artists. This is just another way for the Copyright Royalty Board to flaunt its power and flex its corperate muscles. They are so insecure about their image and they are so afraid that they don’t look powerful enough that they do stuff like this just to show off.
I don’t think radio stations should have to pay royalties. If anyone is going to be paying anybody, I think the record labels should be paying the radio stations for giving them exposure. To be honest, I think copyright laws are rediculous. I believe that the artist should be given credit for their work and be given their fair share of CD, T-Shirt, and concert ticket sales and anything else people buy from artists, but things like singing Happy Birthday in public and having to pay royalties for that or having more than 16 people in a room with a song playing and having to pay royalties is rediculous. The Copyright Royalty Board is going to continue to nickle and dime us unless we do something about it. Stop paying for CDs. Stop paying your roylaties. Don’t buy ANYTHING that comes from major labels. Lets make it so the white collar people have no muscles to flex anymore. Artists don’t get paid very much for their CDs anyway. Its not going to make any difference to them.

Tom Smythe says:

Control by the RIAA and Clear Channel

This is another attempt by the RIAA and Clear Channel to control what we hear. They want our choices to be limited to the syndicated, extremely limited crap that we hear on the public airwaves (and saturated by commercials). The RIAA and record labels are too stupid to realize that if we hear variety and what we want, we are more likely to buy the music. The commercial stations should be forced to pay the same royalties as internet radio. Promotion of the music be damned. And I’m tired of hearing this top 40 crap at every shopping mall I go to.
I will buy less music, if I can’t hear choice – or I’ll keep liste

RoxBerry says:


Can Artists decide not to be a part of RIAA ruling and provide content directly to webstations? This is another example of government officials taking kickbacks from corporate executives so they can make more money. We should demand that RIAA and SoundExchange be shut down. It is not fair to retroactivly charge royalties at a new rate, it’s like being charged a new premium for all the gasoline you used in 2006, and it is due in a month. They want to eliminate the competition with the help of our government. Boycott Big Music!

Nuthead says:

What's the business plan?

I don’t know much about how musicians earn their living, but if the internet has lowered the bar making it easier for unknown acts to get heard, how is it that more money is not earned by all. I have found some really good musicians via this forum I likely would have never heard if radio or tours were the only possibilities. I do not buy the music of everyone I hear, who would, I don’t always like it. But I am buying when I find the Gold. I share the music, and hopefully, spread the word. If I had to pay to click on an artist to hear them, I would likely take fewer risk with my music taste.

Elitest Pig Dog says:


Elitest Pig Dog – Look the people are actually enjoying themselves learning, enjoying music, acting free and turning against the slave pen we’ve made for them.

Elitest Pig Dog 2 – Well then well just manipulate the laws again to show them there our slaves once again.

Elitest Pig Dog – Good Idea, lets start with the music we own that right?

Elitest Pig Dog 2 – Oh, yeah all of it and we can only let them have the brain washing stuff for free. Nothing like 12 year old girls singing britney spears.

Elitest Pig Dog – Oh I just love that we’ll restructure it to play all day on the stations we take over.

Elitest Pig Dog 2 – This should make it easier then to go after talk radio right? and videos on google like money masters? Cause we cant have the truth told to the slaves, i mean when i want a sandwich I don’t wanna have to wait or make it myself you know what I’m saying.

Elitest Pig Dog – I know just where your coming from, I had to wait 2 min. once it was hell, I think my stomach actually growled. Oh yeah and it’s all just domino’s we get this the rest will fall, there stupid and cant stand up for anything. We’ll just start another american idol up so they will watch that and we’ll move in.
Elitest Pig Dog – so then its agreed music first.

Elitest Pig Dog 2 – Aye, to the law system we created to further enslave!

Elitest Pig Dog – Tally HO!

Dave West says:

Ineternet Radio & the RIAA

This is all a bunch of crap. This situation with the RIAA & royalties only involves licensed artists, not indie artists. The Internet was supposed to be “the” tool for indie artists to promote their works to the world & be free of the record labels. It was indie this & indie that back in the mid nineties. Then as time went on, Internet sites & Radio decided that record label artists were the best & easy way to make their sites popular & bring in sure money. Major artists received front page advertising over indie artists. So if you want to be mad at some one, be mad at these cut throat music sites & Internet Radio sites. Now, they have to go back to playing indie artists music only. I don’t know where these little hole in the wall Internet Radio stations got the idea that they deserved to the right to play & promote record label artists aside from the permission of the artists labels. Record labels do suck now, but you can’t possibly think that you can do things behind their backs & get away with it. Record labels are a business as are commercial Radio stations & they conduct business with each other. The only way anyone has a right to play these record labels artists, is of course through the permission of the record labels themselves. In fact, you need to have permission to play indie artists music. Since we now live in a criminal society, that seems to be the mentality behind music on the Internet now. Mooches & music thieves thrive on the Internet. This is the main cancer destroying music on the Internet & I believe it’s the downfall of indie artists & their music. You can’t make money off your music when everyone is looking to get it for free! Thankfully, the labels aren’t going to allow it to happen, ass holes or not! When you screw with someone else’s property, expect the worst! I myself am hoping for more stringent laws to be passed as regards music mooching & thieving on the Internet in general. indie artists now need to be protected. So why would any indie artist cry over Internet Radio? They deserve what they got!

Veronica says:

Broadcasting in UK

I’m a hobbyist, playing my gospel music 24/7/365, no revenue of any kind. I’m streaming from the U.K. lo, and behold ASCAP sent me an application to get my station a license. I’m not even in U.S territory. How about that? My listeners was growing rapidly but I decided to pull the plug and refused to get involved with this bull crap. I did missed my radio station. How can they even miss you with you when your streaming abroad? Any input is highly appreciated.

Arthur says:

Party is Over for Free Music

Why is the mentality that everything should be free. The music artists are entitled to fees for the public airing of their songs vs the windfall corprorate profits that result from not paying these fees. Thosnads fo retail stores across America should be fined for the illegal airplay to the public of CD’s and rebroadcast of FM radio stations.

Traditional FM radio staitons are not needed to promote airplay of artists’ songs, if it means a free ride of no royalty payment. We have a great new invention that can do that, the Internet. Pay up boys!

asd (profile) says:

“Prevent Identity Theft – Protect Your Social Security Number”. Did anyone read the big bold letters? How is that site able to post all of that personal info? Now those people, he *can* sue.

He talks about not getting his anxiety medication while in jail in one of the complaints so definitely an inmate or recently released. Anyway, just google the phone number he left on the complaint form and you’ll see a real phonebook entry. (That’s a 570 area code)
Promotional Merchandise Promotional Products Promotional Products

Przewozy Autokarowe (user link) says:


Can Artists decide not to be a part of RIAA ruling and provide content directly to webstations? This is another example of government officials taking kickbacks from corporate executives so they can make more money. We should demand that RIAA and SoundExchange be shut down. It is not fair to retroactivly charge royalties at a new rate, it’s like being charged a new premium for all the gasoline you used in 2006, and it is due in a month. They want to eliminate the competition with the help of our government. Boycott Big Music!

shock says:


I play “oldies” to a very VERY small audience. As a web-caster, I have been informed that there will be be “Astronomical” increases to the fees charged by Sound Exchange. The word “Astronomical” when related to increases still means “huge, enormous, very large, prodigious, monumental, colossal, vast, gigantic and/or massive”. I realize that you probably have legal counsel working on this, but I can’t help but wonder; isn’t there some kind of regulation that REQUIRES these “Pros” to actually DISCLOSE what their intended increase will be, exactly or even a RANGE, in relation to “Astronomical”? Demand that they define “Astronomical”! If their intent is to increase fees to say $50.00 per month, $500.00 per month…or even say $5,000.00 per month? How about defining that as a non-disclosed, nondescript monthly fee “for each listener”? It all certainly fits under the comfortable umbrella of “Astronomical”.

While unrelated to the music industry, Financial institutions, lending organizations (all in MY wheelhouse), even most retail outlets are bound by regulations requiring sufficient and timely notification to consumers regarding intended increases to ongoing contractual obligations, NONE of which are permitted to be “retroactive” to ANY previous date, certainly not YEARS past! I am a trained fraud examiner, and have a good sense of when something stinks! As of this writing, I am not aware of any (American) company (notwithstanding pharmaceuticals) that can ambiguously AND retroactively increase fees to a nondescript level, and hold out any disclosure of said fee increases until the user (in this case, internet broadcasters) are buried in a post disclosure of what will amount to a nightmare of sudden and retroactive DEBT!! People that operate like this are generally associated with names like “Lefty” , “Noodles” and/or “Knuckles”! Litigation and legislation intentionally being kept from the public eye is a major red flag! One might even use “A red flag of Astronomical proportions”. It raises questions as to WHY this is all being hidden from the public eye? Why are they being so covert? Is it possibly because the last time this kind of thing came out, there was such an outcry from the PUBLIC that these “Pros” lost the case? That’s exactly what I smell in this whole thing, with the eventual goal being to BURY all internet broadcasters in favor of those who are slipping envelopes of money under the fence to the lawmakers, assuring that this legislation get passed in a “middle of the night caucus” before a single person in the public even KNOWS it’s there. Better yet, why is no one ELSE asking these questions?

This action will also set a precedent which will no doubt lead to a financial nightmare for consumers of goods and services from most ANYONE, i.e., if they get this passed…ANYONE can (and will) do the same thing. It’s inevitable.

This whole mess NEEDS to go public! Personally, I’m really sick of being threatened. Someone needs to start throwing on the lights while these wharf rats are undermining foundation of the docks! It’s time to turn the wharf lights on. Let’s bring this subterfuge out into the light so the PUBLIC is aware it’s been steeping in the back rooms, hidden in the thick, dark, choking stench of the night, well out of the public’s view.

What’s next? If you’re out driving, pull up to a stop light, roll your window down and people standing on the street corner HEAR the song being played in your car…you (by law) are required to count all the people within earshot, and submit a “royalties check”?? When will this greed END?


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