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Most Web Music Indie, But Stations Still Pay

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Talk about getting it from both ends. If you haven’t been following the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) downright persecution of the webcasting industry, you might be surprised to know that not even stations that play independent music can get beyond the RIAA’s reach.

DailyKos pointed out back in April that SoundExchange and the RIAA secured legal authority to collect royalties even from nonmembers and distribute the money to independent artists and labels. The kicker there is that they get to keep any unclaimed money they collect, and they’re not exactly vigilant about locating those who are owed.

And that means that independent web radio stations are not exempt from royalty rates, recently hiked, even if the artist never intended for there to be a royalty in the first place.

As "DJ ProFusion" at DailyKos wrote:

SoundExchange (the RIAA) considers any digital performance of a song as falling under their compulsory license. If any artist records a song, SoundExchange has the right to collect royalties for its performance on Internet radio. Artists can offer to download their music for free, but they cannot offer their songs to Internet radio for free.

Live365 reports that over 55 percent of music played over Internet channels come from independent artists (non-RIAA), compared to just 13 percent over the conventional airwaves. And though the solution was offered that webcasters only play independent music, they will not be exempt from royalty collections.

How does this happen?

TechDirt’s Mike Masnick sums it up well:

The RIAA tells people that simply listening to music without paying for it is a terrible crime that people should be punished for. Yet… the RIAA getting money for non-RIAA music and not paying the deserving artists that money is perfectly legal? Damn, the RIAA lobbyists are good.

Most Web Music Indie, But Stations Still Pay
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  • http://www.indienews.co.cc/ jack

    RIAA will never learn it. they really suck