by Mike Masnick
Tue, Sep 23rd 2008 9:38pm
The copyright system was never designed for modern technology -- which is why every time some new technology comes along, there are all these legal battles until some awful patch (often in the form of compulsory licensing) is applied. However, because there have been so many new technology changes over the years, and so many different people demanding a piece of the pie, these days the compulsory licensing and royalty process for any sort of music licensing is so complex that almost no one can actually understand what's going on. At any moment there are a bunch of different battles over the various rates that should be used, and over whether or not they apply to some new technology. One of those many battles has come to at least a temporary settlement, as seven years of fighting over mechanical royalty rates on interactive streaming and limited download services have been agreed to by all parties involved. The RIAA put out some PR happy quote about how this will "support innovative business models." Sorry, but when you're talking about a seven-year dispute to work out these rates, you've probably already killed off those innovative business models.
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