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RIAA Targets Internet Radio

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In a decision that could drive the nail in the coffin to Internet radio providers, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board has endorsed a proposal by SoundExchange to enact royalty rates for webcasts and streaming music sites that will stay in effect from 2006 until 2010.

SoundExchange, the royalty collecting division of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), will seek to retroactively charge webcasters for streaming content delivered throughout 2006 to users, a decision that could send the sites packing for good.

The new rates will require webcasters to pay for each song streamed to each user, and will increase yearly according to these figures:

2006: $0.0008 to stream one song to one listener

2007: $.0011

2008: $.0014

2009: $.0018

2010: $.0019

Eliot Van Buskirk and Sean Michaels of Wired lament the financial implications of the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board

RIAA Targets Internet Radio


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  • Anonymous

    You know there is a lot of hype about the fiasco that is raising the rates internet radio broadcasters are paying to play big label music. People are going so far to say that internet radio will disappear completely because hobbyists (such as myself), small stations, etc won’t be able to pay the fees.

    One thing that seems to be overlooked is the vast wealth of quality music available on the net by independent and unsigned artists. These artists for the most part will allow pod casters, internet radio DJ’s, etc to play there stuff for free, in return we give props to the artists and provide links back to the artists websites where the listeners can purchase the CD’s (for much, much less then the big labels charge).

    So what the hell does this all mean? Well I personally think that it could end up being a wake up call for the RIAA and others. If all the small stations, hobbyists, etc band together and stop playing major label music in our shows and find content that is equally as good from independent artists (and most could use the added exposure as well), it

    • Anonymous

      This is the entire crux of the matter…
      finally after eons of being shut out of the major radio station playlists, there are a lot of Indie DJs, such as my own self, who play nothing but independent music, and I’ve been doing this for 21 years. Well, fight fire with fire, or so the saying goes. Hit ‘em where it hurts!
      Take the money (or no money!) and run like hell. It all boils down to GREED, and posturing as though this monetary discrimination is about taking care of the artists is a false as the whole premise that they actually care about the artists.
      Let’s face it…do you really want to continue playing music that’s already popular, or get into the groove and spotlight our huge unsigned band industry.
      What can they say to an indie who opts out of a 3cent royalty fee for exposure on someones show, which just might help them break on through to the other side.
      Stand your ground and don’t back down.
      Carmen Allgood
      http://www.TheColoradoWave.com

      • newageguy

        While this is all good in theory, there is still the “getting written permission” phase — which can be cumbersome at best. It is even more difficult if you have a wide variety of underground music that you want to feature on your Webcast from record labels that have long since gone out of business. The indie marketplace is far more volatile, and so acquiring rights can actually be more difficult at times than going through the mainstream channels.

    • Anonymous

      Wade,
      I agree with you 100%! If the major labels want to charge more, then don’t pay and play the Indie music from artist that will let you play their music. I am one of them!
      Awesome $0.02 bro!

      Art

    • Anonymous

      While your thought is a great idea it is not totally correct. If you read those stupid laws (DMCA law and Small Webcaster Law) Sound Exchange was basically given the rights to collect for all recording weather signed up with SoundExchange or not! Basically that wonder US government of ours created the first legimate monopoly and music mafia under US law which is why the whole DMCA law must be amended.

      Just remember the RIAA also wants the streaming of MP3′s completely stopped where you would only be able to stream with Windows Media or Real this would not only effect internet radio but your podcast as well. They support or have supported in the past the idea of biometric media players and let’s not forget about the Sony spyware imbeded in CD’s to harm your PC….remember! Sony is the RIAA!

    • CONCERNED

      While we can look at only playing Indie music there is another factor that is in place.

      Ill give you a story…..

      My mother who is 58 years old recieved a letter from a Recording industry department claiming she HAD to pay 3000 dollars for using country music in her Line Dance lessons. This was done by ARIA…which is the same group as the RIAA only in Australia.

      She was forced to close her business as she was not earning enough to even pay the royalty fees for this outrageuos bill.

      She also knows many of the named stars listed in her letter and asked them if they had recieved any cheques in the mail from ARIA….they ahd not…she also asked if she was allowed to use their music, to which they gave her a signed letter saying they allow her to use their music in her lessons.

      she took it to ARIA and they said that they will not honor the letter and will charge her any way.

      POINT:

      They will charge you no matter what….play your own music….they will charge you royalty fees. The problem is BIGGER than changing music…its an assault on our freedom and common sense.

      sign the petitions…if you know a big star…call them and tell them about this problem.

      if your a DJ….watch your back…this law affects you too.

    • J. Naugh-T!

      Here’s What’s At Issue With Me.. And Believe Me My View Is Slanted Because I Am A Indy artist.. If These Web Stations Had Any Guts They’d Stop Playing Any Major Acts On Their Stations And As DJ Sinister Kane Said Above.. Start Concentrating On ARTIST That Are Not A Part Of The Machine..

      I Have Never Understood The Trendy Mindset.. If It’s Hot We Are on It.. And Once it’s Not We Are on To the Next Thing.. If An Artist’s Music Has That Short Of A Shelf Life.. Then It Does Not Need To Be Played..(THE BEATLES HAVE A CATALOUGE!!!).. There Are Artist That Deserve To Be Heard .. That Actually Have Something to Say And That Sound Like Themselves.. Every Band That’s Being Played On Mainstream Radio Sounds the Same.. In Pop Rock.. It’s The Whiney 4 Chord Crap That They Call Punk…IGGY POP IS PUNK!!!! Remember Him??

      In Rap It’s The Same Dumbded Down Casiotone Music.. Snap Your Fingers..Walk It Out..Comb Your Hair.. Brush Your Teeth.,.. 1,2,3, Garbage.. Where The Hell Are The Lyrics..

      Yet These Internet Stations That Are Poised to Actually Make A Difference .. To Actually Change A Mind.. And Make An Impact.. Want to Emulate the Same Formats That Forced Them to Broadcast on the Internet In the First Place..

      If You Guys Are true To Yourselves.. And Want to Make A Real Difference.. PLAY INDIE UNSIGNED ARTIST!!!

      In The Long Run It Builds Relationships.. Which Benefit All In The End.. That Artist May Be The One That Turns Into The Next trendy thing.. And Guess What?? You Would Be The One Responsible For The Success.. And Would Reap The Benifits.. STOP THINKING SHORT TERM!!!!!…

      Unless You Want to Be Exactly Like The Major robotic Radio Stations..

      When Faced With A Choice That Could Change Lives.. Most People Become Sheep!! They’d Rather Play It Safe For The Quick Hit.. instead Of Fighting For The Windfall..

      I Have No pitty For These Stations.. If They Cannot Wake Up And Do Right By Themselves.. The Artist.. And The Music..

      Remove Your Cog from the Machine.. And I Guarentee You It Will Break Down.. Solidarity Is Still A Vialbe Form Of War!!

      Stop Crying and Wake UP!!!

      J.Naugh-T

      http://www.myspace.com/j.naugh-t

    • Jason The Saj

      The SoundExchange was not granted authority to collect royalties for just RIAA artists. But to collect royalties for ALL artists (independent included).

      I used to DJ on a college radio station that mainly played independent artists and artists signed to pocket labels.

      But these royalties don’t care if you play nothing but independent artists. The station was going to be required to pay the royalties regardless. (And of course we know that none of those payments would go to any of the independent artists we were playing.)

      The entire point of these royalties is to kill the online radio broadcasters (who mainly play independent artists) by applying such steep royalty rates that they can no longer stay in business.

      Thus killing web radio. And eliminating one of the few remaining means for independent artists to gain airplay.

      So if you play all independent artists on your web radio station SoundExchange is still going to demand $250 per listener per year come 2009. (Something few web radio stations can afford on top of bandwith fees, equipment, and traditional royalties.)

      THIS WHOLE THING IS TO KILL THE INDEPENDENT MUSIC SCENE SO THAT RIAA DOESN’T HAVE COMPETITION.

      This is why Napster was killed. Because Napster wasn’t just a downloading tool but was a market tool. Independent artists who made good music became popular independant of RIAA’s payola machine. If you liked Jazz, and went to that genre you’d see all the tracks other people liked as they floated to the most-played list. Better music floated to the top.

      So while Napster was around, record sales actually increased. However, most of that growth was with independent artists and labels. Not the big RIAA bands. So they killed it. Just like they killed MP3.com because it too gave independent bands an opportunity to get their music out there.

      Now they are killing web radio for the same reason. It promotes independent artists over their crappy list of artists.

      It has nothing to do about artist royalties, etc. It is all about controlling the market and killing access to independent artists.

  • Anonymous

    Like all organizations, including governments, that acquire wealth and power, the goal is to keep it and to use any means available to do just that. Powerful organizations don’t like competition. It forces them to become creative again instead of living on past accomplishments. Governments of the past have killed their percieved enimies using brutelity. RIAA is no different. Their plan is to destroy a medium that is competition to their constituents and they can’t have that. RIAA has no love for artist. It’s the love of money and power that they covet using the power of taxing. That’s what these fees are a use tax. As John Marshall has said, “the power to tax involes the power to destroy”.

    • Anonymous

      I forgot my signature
      Rick
      nge@ngetanline.com

    • Anonymous

      Was this Country not founded on the principle of Power to the People? Don’t let a government taxing body like the RIAA destroy the very fabric of what makes the USA the greatest Country in the World. Our founding Fathers would be rolling in their grave… Support Democracy! Support Competition! Write your Congress person and get involved!

  • newageguy

    Several streaming-media companies have seen what’s at stake and are finally gearing up to form an industry trade association to combat this injustice.

    http://www.smallwebcaster.org/

    Let’s just hope it’s not to late to effect some change in this whole ordeal.

  • Anonymous

    couldnt have said it better

  • Anonymous

    The RIAA are nothing but lobbyists with really deep legal pockets. As soon as the indies start gaining in popularity they’ll start suing them into oblivion claiming the chord progression EAG is “taken” and they have to0 pay a royalty to write a song using those chords. The RIAA won’t stop till they have all music under thier control. They just took down the OLGA site so now I can’t even better my guitar learning through tabulature. Instead I have to buy crappy and often incorrect sheet music… with no tabs… telling me in no way how to play the song. I think I’ll file suit against them for making me lose my hair over all the BS from MP3′s to this new issue. Lame… and any artist that signs with an affiliate of those jerks won’t get a dime of my money in concert tickets OR CD’s.

    Now there’s an idea… form a coalition to boycott the major record labels.. let’s see how many artists stay with the RIAA money train when they aren’t making any more money.

    • Anonymous

      Forgot sig… lame…

      DJ Kitt
      Colorado

  • Anonymous

    By my read, DJ Sinister has it right!

    Independent artists’ sites such as SongPlanet.com may be able to attract more listeners, giving those that have been held back by ClearChannel, the Big Four and the RIAA an opportunity to build their fan base.

    There are thousands of excellent but struggling musicians trying to make their living by playing local venues, or selling a song or a CD here and there.

    If the rates are imposed, I hope that Internet Radio listeners will take this opportunity to tune in to a new station and support independent artists!

    That said, the way that these rates have been imposed seems blatantly unfair. I hope the webcasters are successful in their bid to have them overturned.

    Ann Nightingale
    aka DJ Motmot
    SongPlanet Radio on SongPlanet.com

  • Anonymous

    The RIAA did not think this through. Let me get this “logical” decision straight.

    1. They increase royalty rates.
    2. Stations shut down
    3. They don’t get paid anything from these stations

    So, the RIAA only gets paid these insane rates IF stations stay in business and pay them, which most won’t.

    Have any of these case studies compared the amount from keeping stations with the same rate and shutting down many stations but making more from the big stations that can handle it?

    Which would make them more money?

    I agree with many of you, this is a big step backwards in the industry.

    On another note. Check out http://www.streamsearch.ca – Live stream search engine, if many stations go out of business I will have a problem on my hands as well.

    • Anonymous

      Somehow, I don’t think that the money is the main reason for this… They are taking lessons from Congress (whose members only make about 200k a year, but thrive on power).

      Plus, you’ve kinda got to look at the other side. I know the Internet stations are a great promo vehicle for artists, but the successful ones don’t really want to be GIVING their music away. My son is in a band just made the converson from indie to “big league” so I can sort of understand the need for compensation – and YES, they have actually received royalty payments.

    • Jason The Saj

      It’s not about getting royalty profits, it’s about controlling the market.

      You see, RIAA has controlled commercial radio through payola for years. The commercial stations play the music RIAA wants played. Thus promoting their sales. And make RIAA the one gateway to musical success. This enables RIAA to contract artists to deals that leave artists with mere pittances.

      Web radio allows for any artist to be played. Thus breaking the cartel. There is no payola for web radio. RIAA loses control of artists. Artists have the potential to become successful outside RIAA’s recording and broadcast payola.

      Now, RIAA is no longer holding all the keys. This is not about profits, artists royalties or rights. It’s about regaining all the keys to the market so as to maintain market control and ensure that the only music we hear on radio comes from RIAA labels.

      That’s what this is ALL about!

  • Anonymous

    Hi,
    My name is Sandy, and I am a Canadian who also enjoys the variety of internet radio stations that is currently available.
    I went on a site to sign a petition, but it does not include Canadian listeners.

    Could you email me at sandyfinagin1@hotmail.com if there is anything I can do to help this cause from Canada? I’m sure our voice could have an effect too, if I knew the appropriate corresponding Canadian agencies to petition with regard to this matter.

    WE REALLY WANT TO HELP!!! WHAT CAN WE DO IN CANADA ABOUT THIS???

    Please respond asap with suggestions so that I can get going on this right away. I’d be glad to start a Canadian petition, but need more info.

    Anxiously waiting for your reply,

    Sandy Finagin

  • Anonymous

    okay heres what i think would work the best.
    1.since the riaa is so much for the big lables anyways and wants to keep themselves and big lable companies rich, then why don’t indie and unsigned artists have a representative organization to say they don’t want to pay the price hike so they can promote their music on internet stream raido stations and other forms of media?
    2.if the indie/unsigned artist dosen’t want to set a price per play then that organization should set a very resonable basic price and let the stream station decide what to play at any given time and whatever agreements are met to place an ad to promote that band and/or company if both parties choose to by that agreement.

    this will help for promotions to “plug” into the areas they want and need by whatever companies want to play their songs and everyone gets the money they are free to decide on insted of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer.

    sounds almost like a work union don’t it?

    • incognito

      you know what? the mistake we ALL (humans) made was to ever come up with the idea of choosing certain individuals, giving them power and placing them above us to run/decide and come up with rules.

      i do understand that a country/world to run properly needs to have certain rules/principles… BUT the way we have things going right now is not right!

      the gov of ANY country pretty much RUNS everyone’s life… and i swear… if there was a way for them to charge for “breathing oxygen” they would!

      organize people… fight… stand for your believes… we the people are the ones that should decide what is better or worse for our society, our universe.

      - incognito

  • Ozy

    The RIAA are nothing but lobbyists and greedy creeps. They have a job and profit off of anyone they can. As far as I am concerned if people let groups or governments for the rich walk over them they deserve what they get!
    Everyone needs to fight these profiteers tooth and nail til hell freezes over.

    • Cant say

      Deffinetly!!!!!!!!1

  • Kassey

    U should not close internet radio because its awesome and many people like to listen to it.

    So if you could please write me back by email.

    ilovelellow@hotmail.com

    and if that is not possible you can contact me by mail or phone.

    26865

    6046264*2*

    Sincerley,

    Kassey

    P.S: And i like it as well, so like…….yah

    please contact me in any way as soon as possible.

  • ClubZone

    you all trust me in the first. i did somting worng. i want to be one of us.
    i don’t wan’t to go away.
    TRUST ME!

  • Richard

    Isn’t it strange, all the audio cds I bought last year, were music I heard on internet radio (radio365).

    Local ‘broadcast’ radio stations play a very limited choice of music, to hear new music, internet radio is it. If internet radio goes away due to outrageous royalties, so do my audio cd purchases. I have bought directly from some artists, though.

    The record labels are complaining about poor sales now, just wait, they can drive the rest of their sales away too.

  • Joe Chisholm

    Skill testing question here: For podcasters or internet radio hosts who play nothing but indie music, this seem un-enforcible. How can RIAA or any other body collect fees, when an agreement between and indie artists and an internet radio host has been made to broadcast the music for promotional purposes only?

    If we refuse to pay, I can’t see it being successfully litigated (at least for those of us playing indie music).

    Am I wrong about this?

    Joe Chisholm
    IndieCan Radio
    www.indiecan.com

  • jerbear2298

    I think nuradio does not deserve this punishment however i hope the crb learns a lesson from all of this nuradio is not going to go down without a fight

  • Great White Northlander

    What is the current status of this CRB $ grab in USA? (Aug. 19, 2007 inquiry) What about in Canada?
    Australia? UK? Where will it NOT be enforcable?

    How does this CRB policy hit streaming online TV?
    (Some of us scattered worldwide look at building a worldwide streaming online TV network.)
    ——————————————-

    Here’s how to throw RIAA a “correction” curve…

    It would seem indie artists NOT signing with majors have a right to demand CRB NOT collect for them! But lawyers and paid politicos rule us and logic now fails often. (Recently I saw a shirt with “Words are for debate; bullets for change.”)

    We need a very fast method to locate any indie artist/label willing to scrap CRB collectors. So I think indie labels and artists need to form an indie group, to halt CRB collections over indie group member, and make it fast and easy for DJs to identify all indies and use their works.

    Why would a performer do that?

    Well, I’d suggest an indie group policy that when somone puts out an “album,” they list one or two free to play on indie media ONLY. (Major pro-CRB media cannot get these at all!) But along with that is proviso a DJ gives the artist of label web-link to buy the CD with other songs also, ones not for play on the air or net (except a 30 sec. sample – possibly?)

    Thus indie artists can make some real bucks fast if people like their free sample works and hints of the rest of songs available. (A customer could download an album when payment is received, if they prefer that, rather than mailing a CD.) The artist or label website would also list upcoming shows and ticket arrangements.

    So some new music would be totally free to indie media online (ones that reject using any RIAA stuff and the CRB $ grab), and online indie music stations would be aimed at promoting works of indie artists/labels. It would melt down media oligarchs, and allow more artists and labels to make a good living. The age of superstars may be over. (Sorry, Elvis, but didn’t hyper-fame sort of ruin your life? A dozen men could have shared your fame and fortune and been happy, giving us more musical diversity too.)

    Get into the picture deeper…

    Rich moguls (often manipulators of a clan exposed in Kevin MacDonald’s “The Culture of Critique”) run our Orwellian “news” and “entertainment” (of which music is just one part), not just for huge profits, but to brainwash our core people to end our old society and make something else entirely.

    “Pop” music plays a big role in this, as does TV and film. (See Neal Gabler’s “An Empire of their Own” about who built “Hollywood.” Consider the sometimes murderous lyrics of “rap” against us.
    Or the satire against us dished out years ago by Archie Bunker, now Homer Simpson, etc. Violence is rife on TV; now we get gunmen in colleges!)

    Internet allows INDIVIDUALS and small groups to present their songs, exposes, and ideologies online cheaply. Our “betters” hate this freedom!

    (It’s like when serfs left them in Europe and migrated to the New World. Now they are here too.)

    So “they” strive to end our freedom… free music… free speech… and even our existence!

    (Check on sites like www.halturnershow.com www.stormfront.org www.whitenation.info for clues on the war raging, and large counter-measures!
    Some of these also have great uncommon music.)

  • Mike

    And not about the $$, as some have pointed out. You don’t make $ by running your customers out of business. But you do get control of the marketplace and distribution, which in the long run could be viewed as more valuable. I don’t think this is some sinister plot on the part of Congress in allowing this new royalty scheme. It looks more like a rubber stamp was issued without considering what was really being done. First, the RIAA can set whatever rates it wants for it’s own catalog. Just like you can charge $100 for a Snicker’s bar at your own store if you choose, but good luck selling any. The problem here is that Congress has also allowed the RIAA to demand a portion of your Snicker’s sales at your store, even though they didn’t make the candy, don’t own Snickers (or Mars or whoever the parent company is), don’t own or service your store, and are not the customer. This is, of course, referring to the SoundEchange policy of collecting royalties for playing independent artists, artists they wouldn’t sign or touch with a 10-foot pole, but want some money anyway. So they get the best of both worlds – no financial or legal obligation in regards to the band(s), but a revenue stream nonetheless (just for sitting on their gloriously fat asses). The intention of that policy (or at least how it was sold/spun) is that an unsigned artists is just as entitled to receiving royalties for their webcast music as a signed artist, which is true. Just because one has the backing of a major label shouldn’t mean they get better legal protection. HOWEVER, in practice this is being used to simply put the RIAAs hand in the cookie jar without actually doing anything of value. In fact, if you want to collect any royalties from SoundExchange as an independent artist, you must pay them a fee for their unwanted “service”. There are a few considerations I would like the independent music industry to consider that may help in a potential lawsuit (i.e. if you are a webcaster with permission to play indie artists, but are hit with a cease-and-dissist, or worse a bill or subphoena!). I must tell you upfront that I am not an attorney, but I do know a few things. For one, the Constitution of the United States (for non-Yanks, your country probably has similar protections) prohibits any agent of government from depriving an individual of life, liberty, or property without due process. Granting a lobbying orginization blanket authority to collect copyright royalties on behalf of individuals who do not want that service is, in effect, granting an artists’ performance rights to a third party without due process (assuming the artist has not agreed to such an arrangement). Under this condition, artists are less likely to be able to get their works played for fear that the webcaster may be hit with a heavy fine or bill. This, in fact, diminishes the value of their performance rights, since they are no longer able, or less able, to exercise them as they see fit. This could constitue actual damages in a civil filing (an analogy would be somebody damaging your house in a way that seriously diminishes it’s value forever – you could sue in just about any jurisdiction). Here’s a more fun scenario I’ve recently been thinking about – the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. If the Congress can grant blanket authority to collect royalties for property to which you have ABSOLUTELY NO PRIOR LEGAL CLAIM to SoundExchange, why not you? Or me? I suggest, for those with attorney friends who might do this for fun, to start a nationwide billing excercise. How would the RIAA react if they started receiving invoices from around the country or world for services never rendered? Next time you burn an album for an indie-artist friend of yours, send the RIAA an invoice for mechanical rights. Next time you play a webcast of your friend’s unsigned band, send a letter of intent to collect performance royalties. If you send a ton, be sure to “accidentaly” send copies to a local news outlet, who may find the story very amusing. That could get the one thing that is very needed here – national exposure, on a grand scale, of the ubsurdity of this royalty scheme. Hell, send them bills for a take of any rental properties or lease properties the RIAA may have. Yeah,it’s funny, but if such a campaign were to blow big, it might put the spotlight on the underhanded, mafia-esque tactics the RIAA is using, and Congress is either ignoring or condoning. My big, ass, 2 cents! Have fun sending bills!

  • Mike

    And not about the $$, as some have pointed out. You don’t make $ by running your customers out of business. But you do get control of the marketplace and distribution, which in the long run could be viewed as more valuable. I don’t think this is some sinister plot on the part of Congress in allowing this new royalty scheme. It looks more like a rubber stamp was issued without considering what was really being done. First, the RIAA can set whatever rates it wants for it’s own catalog. Just like you can charge $100 for a Snicker’s bar at your own store if you choose, but good luck selling any. The problem here is that Congress has also allowed the RIAA to demand a portion of your Snicker’s sales at your store, even though they didn’t make the candy, don’t own Snickers (or Mars or whoever the parent company is), don’t own or service your store, and are not the customer. This is, of course, referring to the SoundEchange policy of collecting royalties for playing independent artists, artists they wouldn’t sign or touch with a 10-foot pole, but want some money anyway. So they get the best of both worlds – no financial or legal obligation in regards to the band(s), but a revenue stream nonetheless (just for sitting on their gloriously fat asses). The intention of that policy (or at least how it was sold/spun) is that an unsigned artists is just as entitled to receiving royalties for their webcast music as a signed artist, which is true. Just because one has the backing of a major label shouldn’t mean they get better legal protection. HOWEVER, in practice this is being used to simply put the RIAAs hand in the cookie jar without actually doing anything of value. In fact, if you want to collect any royalties from SoundExchange as an independent artist, you must pay them a fee for their unwanted “service”. There are a few considerations I would like the independent music industry to consider that may help in a potential lawsuit (i.e. if you are a webcaster with permission to play indie artists, but are hit with a cease-and-dissist, or worse a bill or subphoena!). I must tell you upfront that I am not an attorney, but I do know a few things. For one, the Constitution of the United States (for non-Yanks, your country probably has similar protections) prohibits any agent of government from depriving an individual of life, liberty, or property without due process. Granting a lobbying orginization blanket authority to collect copyright royalties on behalf of individuals who do not want that service is, in effect, granting an artists’ performance rights to a third party without due process (assuming the artist has not agreed to such an arrangement). Under this condition, artists are less likely to be able to get their works played for fear that the webcaster may be hit with a heavy fine or bill. This, in fact, diminishes the value of their performance rights, since they are no longer able, or less able, to exercise them as they see fit. This could constitue actual damages in a civil filing (an analogy would be somebody damaging your house in a way that seriously diminishes it’s value forever – you could sue in just about any jurisdiction). Here’s a more fun scenario I’ve recently been thinking about – the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. If the Congress can grant blanket authority to collect royalties for property to which you have ABSOLUTELY NO PRIOR LEGAL CLAIM to SoundExchange, why not you? Or me? I suggest, for those with attorney friends who might do this for fun, to start a nationwide billing excercise. How would the RIAA react if they started receiving invoices from around the country or world for services never rendered? Next time you burn an album for an indie-artist friend of yours, send the RIAA an invoice for mechanical rights. Next time you play a webcast of your friend’s unsigned band, send a letter of intent to collect performance royalties. If you send a ton, be sure to “accidentaly” send copies to a local news outlet, who may find the story very amusing. That could get the one thing that is very needed here – national exposure, on a grand scale, of the ubsurdity of this royalty scheme. Hell, send them bills for a take of any rental properties or lease properties the RIAA may have. Yeah,it’s funny, but if such a campaign were to blow big, it might put the spotlight on the underhanded, mafia-esque tactics the RIAA is using, and Congress is either ignoring or condoning. My big, ass, 2 cents! Have fun sending bills!

    • Van

      > For one, the Constitution of the United
      > States (for non-Yanks, your country probably
      > has similar protections) prohibits any agent
      > of government from depriving an individual
      > of life, liberty, or property without due
      > process.

      You havent been watching the American news for the last 10 years, have you? Between our White House, our Congress, and our Supreme Court the US Constitution has been trampled to death. It is merely a *hindrance* to this sort of criminal behavior now – not an obstacle.

      Long gone are the days where innocence was any guarantee of protection from American law enforcement.

      Im moving my station to a Canadian shoutcast host. Seriously. Setting up this weekend.

      And in a few years when the Canadian govt sells out to RIAA, Ill move it to Mexico. And after they infect Mexico, Ill move it to China.

      What I wont do, is pay these RIAA assholes. Paying them makes them bigger and stronger, and that kind of submission got us where we are today.

      FUCK ‘EM! They can make their money off of you, but they wont make any off of me.

      • Shelby

        I totally agree with this, even those this article is a few years old, i agree with this 100%

  • http://www.m4s73r.com/ Internet Marketing Indonesia

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  • http://www.radioactivemedia.net/ RadioActive Media

    The 750 suits come just a few days after Internet researchers released a study that found peer-to-peer traffic had remained constant or risen up to the early days of 2004, despite the pressure of recording industry lawsuits. But, lately

  • http://N/A Music Guy

    This travesty is just another problem you can rack up to Technology. Technology has produced Billionaires whom can buy pretty much anything they want, for example, Politicians, law makers, Record labels, Etc. Bill Clinton passed the more or less, “Own The Free Air Ways” bill. One Billionaire bought up 2,500 Radio Stations, which he can do with as he pleases. I’m sure he has some nice money making arrangements with the major Record labels! At any rate, you might want to consider this; Who gave Internet Radio the right to play copyrighted major Artists on their stations with out the permission of the Record labels. That’s sort of like a neighbor coming over to your house and grabbing your lawnmower to take & cut his lawn with. Would that piss you off… I’m sure that’s a resounding…YES….! Try thinking about other peoples rights, rather than just your own & maybe things like this won’t happen. I have an idea, why doesn’t everyone start playing copyrighted movies on their own Internet sites & let’s see what happens with that. Will you think they are also greedy old cigar smoking farts too!!! The very Technology you revere has put quite a choke hold on you & evidently your solution is to just do & take what you like & put down those who make a living off of it…Entitlement only comes with hard work & it’s not your entitlement to take some one elses hard work for free…..!!!!!!

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