by Mike Masnick

Recording Industry Might Just Keep Webcast Royalties

from the don't-want-'em? dept

While the recording industry pushed so hard for compulsory licensing fees for radio webcasts and so hard against compulsory licensing for downloads (realizing, of course, they can sell downloads, but can't sell webcasts), it turns out that the fine print says that SoundExchange, the supposedly not-for-profit "affiliate" of the RIAA gets to keep any of the unclaimed royalties from the compulsory licenses. Seems like a pretty good deal for the RIAA. They collect the fees, and if no one steps up, they keep the fees. Whatever happened to all that talk about "doing what's best for the musicians?" It seems like you could make a bigger case that this is actual "theft" than downloading a song.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Brad Hill, Sep 29th, 2004 @ 7:49am

    SoundExchange Collections

    Actually, there *is* a registration process at SoundExchange, and royalties are being mailed.

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

  2. icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 29th, 2004 @ 8:35am

    Re: SoundExchange Collections

    I didn't deny that there was a way for artists to get the money, just questioned why they get to keep the money that belongs to artists who didn't step up and claim it.

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

  3. identicon
    jeremiah, Sep 29th, 2004 @ 12:06pm

    Re: SoundExchange Collections

    I was under the impression that the funds were to be put in trusts in the event that copyright owners could lay claim to them at some future point.

    After ten minutes on both RIAA and BMI sites, i can find no mention of that, so maybe i was quite wrong.

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

  4. identicon
    hanzie, Sep 30th, 2004 @ 1:15am

    Re: SoundExchange Collections

    You're quite likely correct, since this is exactly the same trick lawyers often pull for some extra income: they keep one bank account containing all the money their clients are entitled to claim, and keep it until they do. Meanwhile, the money sits there, racking up intrest for the lawyer. When said client shows up, he gets his money, but no intrest (Of course not! After all, he should've just stepped up and claimed it sooner!)

    Final result: loads of extra income for the lawyer (or in this case the RIAA), and no laws broken. Nice system, huh? :-)

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

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