Thu, Jul 12th 2007 9:06pm
An appeals court in Washington has denied the appeal of a group of webcasters, and the new, drastically increased rates will take effect on July 15. The head of SoundExchange, which could stand to rake in billions in "administrative fees", says the decision is "a major victory for recording artists and record labels". It's hard to see how that's the case, since should the new rates stand, the overwhelming effect will be a decrease in the amount of exposure artists get, and the number of times their music is heard -- not the dramatic increase in revenues he seems to be hinting at. Should these rates stand, and the RIAA succeeds in hitting broadcast radio stations with royalties (which we presume the SoundExchange boss would call another "major victory"), major-label music could suffer from a huge loss of exposure, which would translate into a huge drop in sales that would surely outweigh any revenue gains from the new royalties. Sounds like yet another way the record labels have figured out to destroy themselves. Update: As noted in the comments, SoundExchange says it won't enforce the new royalties yet, and will continue to negotiate them with webcasters.
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