Up To Date

by Carlo Longino


Wow -- SoundExchange Does Something Reasonable, Says It Won't Enforce New Webcast Royalties Yet

from the now-here's-a-change dept

On Thursday, an appeals court denied a stay of the new (and significantly increased) royalty rates webcasters would have to pay to stream music online. However, as pointed out in the comments on that post, a Wired blog reports that SoundExchange says it's won't enforce the new rates as discussions/negotiations with webcasters continue. The founder of streaming service Pandora says that this development came about as a direct result of Congressional lobbying by webcasters and their listeners -- and hopefully those efforts will lead Congress to take a look at the proposed legislation that would establish much more realistic royalty rates. However, this shouldn't be seen as a victory for webcasters. It's not clear if the SoundExchange reprieve applies to webcasters that aren't part of the Copyright Royalty Board hearings, or what will happen if negotiations don't produce an acceptable outcome for SoundExchange and its RIAA friends -- a demand for retroactive payments would seem the most likely outcome. In any case, internet radio won't die Sunday night; hopefully the reprieve will give a reasonable solution a chance to surface.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    me, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 2:52am

    not yet ?

    shuuuuuuure, it won't enforce them. yet.

    but i bet they'll start gathering data from day one, and later on they'll use it as "evidence" for suing. It's the classic R.I.Ass A. business model these days. Or should i call it racketeering model ?

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

  2. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 5:51am

    You can bet on retroactive...

    payments being a part of any action that take later on once a "deal" is worked out. Even if the rates change they will try to claim those outregous rates for the period between July 15 and whenever the new "deal" is worked out.

    And since the recording industry likes to claim they are doing this in the name of the artists I wonder if the artists have a hand in these negotiations. I doubt it.

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

  3. identicon
    Ray, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 5:54am

    and it keeps adding up

    It really doesn't matter when they start enforcing the royalties, since the order was that they be paid retroactive back to January 2007. The longer they wait, the larger lump sum the stations will owe and the more of them will go under due to the cost.

    Let these guys know where we stand. Let them know that, if they do this, we will turn off our radios, and tell everyone else to turn off theirs. And let the advertisers in our area, the local radio stations and anyone else that will listen that we WILL NOT listen to anyone that uses such methods.

    I, for one, have plenty of mp3 and CD's to listen to.

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

  4. identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Jul 13th, 2007 @ 6:53am


    Congress is going to look into the proposed legislation!? I can see a great outcome...for the thugs, I mean SoundExchange and RIAA (they have more $ and more pull).

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

  5. identicon
    TheDock22, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 6:57am

    Re: and it keeps adding up

    And let the advertisers in our area, the local radio stations and anyone else that will listen that we WILL NOT listen to anyone that uses such methods.

    All that will do is hurt local radio stations and local businesses who advertise on the radio stations. And obviously the royalty companies still get paid whether or not the radio stations suffer.

    I do like Pandora radio though, I listen to it everyday commercial free. I hope they don't go under because of unrealistic royalties.

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

  6. identicon
    CharlieHorse, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 7:03am

    it's just a matter of time

    what is happening is that the internet as a whole is encouraging free and open competition for products and services - it is the free-est of our markets currently - and this scares the bejeebers out of riaa companies 'cause they know that their business model sucks in the "internet age" and cannot compete on a level playing field. they will be buried by true marketplace competition, so they are lobbying hard to get (ala microsoft) congress to grant them monopoly-like status.

    as for soundexchange, they are only doing this in a thinly veiled attempt to head off likely congressional legislation which will tie their hands and force an equitable compormise.

    while I hate to see the "government" get involved in what is normally a free market issue (if we had a truly free market we wouldn't even be having this discussion), in this case I fully support the proposed legislation (Internet Radio Equality Act) as I don't believe that soundexchange will ever agree to anything reasonable - their goal is unquestionably to have total control (fiscally and programmatically) over all these stations and if the stations won't submit, then they will do everything to shut them down.

    so, please contact your legislators and urge them, respectfully, of course, to please support the Internet Radio Equality Act.

    *stepping down from soapbox now*

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

  7. identicon
    Overcast, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 7:07am

    Just another case of big corporations lobbying big government to keep the money in their hands and out of the public's.

    Can't have any innovation unless it's from big corporations or big government. So much for "Freedom", it's just another nail in it's coffin.

    I certainly hope they like the world they are creating.

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

  8. identicon
    LarryV, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 7:41am

    Perhaps this is not a Problem, but an Opportunity.

    This actually sounds like the time for a GPL/OSM (Open Source Music) movement. Perhaps a good Music-Oriented version of the GPL could be developed, and newer artists could release their music under that, (Through peer-to-peer networks???) and then the WebCasters could Webast from that music stockpile. The open artists would get the exposure, the 'casters would still have something to 'cast, and the "Establishment Media" would rust in the doldrums. What's not to like???

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

  9. identicon
    Bothersome, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 7:49am

    listen to the world

    Internet radio won't die despite RIAA's strong-arming the US market and putting the small guys under. We're talking about the internet here. Other countries provide streaming content outside the reach of RIAA. When the US broadcasters had a day of silent protest, the rest of the world kept right on providing content. You may not get your favorite songs repeated at 4 hour intervals, but you will get access to commercial free music and perhaps learn to like other artists you didn't know existed. Screw RIAA. Listen to a station in Germany, Canada, Australia or even the award winning freshair.org.uk

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

  10. identicon
    brandon, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 8:01am

    Re: Perhaps this is not a Problem, but an Opportun

    isn't that called 'Creative Commons'?

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 8:21am

    Re: listen to the world

    There is other music outside the US but the recording industry is throwing its weight around (using the WTO as its hammer) and there are RIAA equiivlents all over thw world.

    Just because we only hear about strong arming in the US does not mean that it is not happening elsewhere.

    If the RIAA had its way it would get a cut of broadcasts from internation sites (mind you the RIAA would have nothing to do with this internation music but would expect to get a cut of it anyway) as well.

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

  12. identicon
    andy, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 11:02pm

    the true irony

    i was writing a story about this topic and spoke to a pr shill at soundexchange. the part that ended up irking me the most wasn't the exorbitant internet radio fees, but that royalty fees would actually be foisted upon terrestrial radio.

    according to the shill, new rates would be set for satellite, internet and terrestrial, which have typically been set at $0.0000 per song per listener... because, up to this point, the industry has seen terrestrial radio as a vessel to market new music.

    not only were radio stations not being charged anything to play the songs, there was that whole payola scandal where labels were getting busted for paying radio stations to play certain songs... this new idea says that money should be flowing the opposite way.

    confused? me too.

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

  13. identicon
    andy, Jul 13th, 2007 @ 11:03pm

    Re: the true irony

    to be clear, terrestrial royalty rates are the ones that are typically free... said the pr guy.

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

  14. identicon
    mike allen, Jul 14th, 2007 @ 3:14am

    OK Anonymous cowered is right there are many stations outside the US Canada ,UK, Australia etc Most of the UK seem a little more resilient with the 40th anniversary of the marine broadcasting act here a lot of the stations would tell the RIAA bully boys where to stick it we fight for radio freedom. And yes a lot of stations here joined in the day of silence.

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

  15. identicon
    Jon @Imvite, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 3:58am

    Irony is the word of the day

    Stop radio from playing songs, and you get less sales.

    Stop people from getting access to music and you get less sales.

    Stop people from wanting to purchase music and you get less sales.

    Stop competing with every other form of entertainment and you get less sale.

    Like Ouborous eating it's own tail.


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

  16. identicon
    jon ingle, Jul 30th, 2007 @ 7:43pm


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

  17. identicon
    jon ingle, Jul 30th, 2007 @ 7:48pm


    Allsouthernrock.com a virtual stream nonprofit radio station plays independent artists only. Brad Schnabel has the bands sign a waiver letter that frees him from paying royalties. He asks for $595 donations from members to pay for his "server",( his computer.) He operates out of his wife's house. He draws unemployment and uses at least half of the donations for his own personal gain. This is wrong.
    Can you do anything to put a stop to the dishoest piracy.

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

  18. icon
    Brian Lee Corber (profile), Sep 23rd, 2007 @ 3:49pm

    vampires and the RIAA

    Friday, September 21, 2007 Vampires and the RIAA Ever notice how vampires operate? They suck your blood all the while making you think that they are doing you the favor. It really does appear that the RIAA and its net representative, Sound Exchange, operate under the same principle. The RIAA has the Copyright Royalty Board under its thumb and appears to dictate web policy to that board, the RIAA tells webcasters what they will pay or else they go to jail or get sued. This seems to be coercion to me. So, in effect, the RIAA sets royalty payments unilaterally, sucks the funds from the webcasters and makes them think that the RIAA did them the favor. If the RIAA had its way, there'd be no webcasting at all. Each note of music would have to be bought from one of the RIAA's constituent members. No more free music of any kind, no more fair use would exist, nothing without payment. Pay through the nose, then give up your nose. One thing that webcasters forget as victims of this policy, they could put a stop to it fast. Just stop webcasting music. When the public starts complaining to Congress to do something about it, perhaps the RIAA can be controlled by reason and not avarice. Victimizers often forget that if they destroy the victim, their victimization ceases and they have no source left from which to suck. Unfortunately, the so-called musical performance artists contribute to this victimization by profiting from the RIAA's activities, whether vicariously or otherwise. You can't take your profits with a clear conscience when the agency collecting for you is known to be set on destroying the source of those profits. Musicians can create music without an audience, but do they really want that? Just some thoughts. BRIAN LEE CORBER, CORBERLAW@AOL.COM, Panorama City, California 91412-4656, 818-786-7133.

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

  19. identicon
    skint muso, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 8:41am

    fairs fair

    most ISP's & digital companies make huge profits from artist & labels. There's loads of digital music parasite corp's that cant make zilch without stealing from artists & the music industry. if you dont want to pay for the music in your business don't use it & stop whinging. Now with the music industry going bust, because digital companies are stealing their lunch, is the time for terrestial radio to start paying royalties to labels. fairs fair.

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

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