Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Webcasters Sue RIAA For Monopoly Actions

from the isn't-that-obvious dept

As they've been threatening to do for months, a group of small webcasters has sued the RIAA for acting as a monopoly and trying to push them offline with the webcasting royalty rates they set. The group claims that the negotiated rates were done by a small group of webcasters who had no right to represent the other webcasters. No matter where you stand on webcasting royalty rates, this might be a tough case to prove. The question is at what point does the RIAA have to stop? Do they need to individually negotiate with every webcaster who doesn't accept current royalty plans?

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  • identicon
    Precision Blogger, 28 Aug 2003 @ 6:57am

    This Suit has merit

    I read the decision in which the judge set the rates that could be charged for webcasting. The judge reviewed the RIAA's prior actions and found it had done many things to artifically boost rates paid before the decision, often in "sweetheart" contracts. Most of the prior webcasting contracts were thrown out of consideration, and the judge used a very few used as "Experience" to set the current rates.

    In this instance, the RIAA is acting as a partially regulated monopoly. The rates have clearly NOT been set in any way that would encourage webcasting. Many stations dropped their web broadcasting as the rates were set; if the RIAA were trying to control a real market, they would immeidately have worked to set rates that brought many of these players back in to the business.

    If successful, the new suit would not force the RIAA to make many negotiations, but rather to set rates that are competitive, instead of punitive.

    - The Precision Blogger

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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