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It's official, streaming music is now 14 cents per song
February 22, 2002 5:55 PM   Subscribe

It's official, streaming music is now 14 cents per song and retroactive to 1998. An update to an earlier thread, this new ruling would add $150,000 in monthly royalty fees to live365, and probably kill whatever streaming radio sites are currently out there. Of course broadcasting via AM/FM is half price, so maybe pirate radio stations will grow more popular.
posted by mathowie (59 comments total)

 
It's .14 cents per song, not 14 cents.
posted by shinybeast at 6:06 PM on February 22, 2002


I freaked out for a second there - it's actually 0.14 cents per song. Still, damn. I get all my 'radio' from the net here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:06 PM on February 22, 2002


Whoops. Overlap.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:07 PM on February 22, 2002


I use launch.com - I used to use live365, but it doesn't work through my proxy server for some reason. Anyway - I'm actually quite addicted to it now. I have a radio station that is filled with songs I like and new songs that launch recommends for me that are surprisingly accurate. I know that there is something wrong with listening to it, but I am not sure what, so I continue on...

(Please don't let this be a trend...)
posted by goneill at 6:16 PM on February 22, 2002


Is there a differentiation between for profit and non-profit sites? If monkeyradio went down the tubes I'd cry for days.
posted by machaus at 6:17 PM on February 22, 2002


guh. The majority of the music I listen to comes from streaming audio through Shoutcast, and through the music I have discovered there I have purchased ALL my CDs over the last year (I simply never heard of any of the bands before).

And all of that is through small independent people running their own servers - who'd never be able to afford such royalties. And of course, since the radio is essentially uber-mainstream - there is no other way that I could be exposed to this music on a regular basis.

It's just... stupid.
posted by mkn at 6:18 PM on February 22, 2002


So now instead of contributing my 2 cents worth I can just throw in the equivalent: 14 songs on the internet or 28 on the radio.

Guess we will all just have to switch to streaming video now!

Are there open source musicians out there? Who does the RIAA represent?
posted by srboisvert at 6:19 PM on February 22, 2002


ASCAP FAQ about Internet Licensing.
posted by riffola at 6:20 PM on February 22, 2002


And what's the betting that this is all part of a larger plan that will see Pressplay bundling internet radio stations as part of their bollocks subscription offering. Can someone tell me one the music industry has done my ways of developing the internet as a music medium? F-all for my money, yet they want all the benefit, AND want total protection from competition. I wish someone would start a new music industry - Mark II - a kind of open source version.
posted by RobertLoch at 6:21 PM on February 22, 2002


How long until live 365 and launch are safely quartered in a datacentre in europe? Or even belive. Pirate radio internet style!
posted by nedrichards at 6:36 PM on February 22, 2002


This may be somewhat contrary (and perhaps even a bit off-topic)...but the MUSICIANS are part of this, too -- it's a bit disheartening to see everyone ganging up on the RIAA and the "music industry" suits. In other words -- if a recording artist wants to record their music and put it on their website for everyone to download and/or listen to, I don't think anyone would or could stop them. Right? So why does everyone crucify the "industry?" It's the ARTISTS who ultimately control their own music -- obviously, the artists want to strike it rich, and in order to do that, they make deals with the executives. So why doesn't anyone bash their favorite recording artists? Or am I just woefully ignorant? (be gentle).
posted by davidmsc at 7:04 PM on February 22, 2002


How can this be applied retroactively? I thought the US couldn't "grandfather" laws so that something once legal or undefined couldn't be made illegal as to punish those who never broke the law in the past.

I know this isn't a law, but I wonder if the RIAA can enforce the retoactive part without getting into a lawsuit.

It's the ARTISTS who ultimately control their own music

That's rarely true, most contracts treat musicians as employees and the product (music) is owned and controlled by the label.
posted by skallas at 7:05 PM on February 22, 2002


skallas: Understood -- but my point is that nobody holds a gun to the musicians' heads and forces them to sign a contract. If a band wants to go the internet-route, they can, assuming they are not already under contract. People who condemn the "industry" for greed and overpriced CDs should also condemn the artists, no? Or is there some notion that the artists are "pure" and driven only by the creation of their music, while the executives are greedy, money-hungry pigs?

(btw - I'm not trolling or flaming -- I really don't understand alot of the attitudes concerning this issue and am trying to figure out the different sides)
posted by davidmsc at 7:12 PM on February 22, 2002


Words cannot convey how sad this ruling makes me. There is one semi-decent airwave radio station in my town. My only escape is about a half dozen of my favorite internet radio stations (all filled with independent and lesser-know artists from which I have bought my last three CDs). From these stations' sites, it's obvious that they're hurting already; I can't imagine how they could handle any more strain on their already tight pursestrings.

Sigh....

The golden age of the free internet is rapidly coming to a close.
posted by pheideaux at 7:24 PM on February 22, 2002


On the other side of things, it looks like offerings like Press Play may get hit for anti-competitive price fixing. I don't know if I think that's a good or bad thing yet. The labels will just use that as ammunition to try to keep all these services from making a go of it, but I like to see the labels get hit on principal.

davidmsc - no, nobody forces artists to go with labels, but once you're in the system it's sort of hard to rock the boat as you are essentially powerless. Labels have forced artists to take mp3 files down off their sites, so... Also, bands like Metallica (sp?) who've spoken out most strongly have gotten some backlash - though they've said that anybody downloading their music isn’t really a fan, and they don't much care what those people think.

I’m hoping that the labels hubris will cause more people to go the promote yourself route. Clearly that’s what the labels/RIAA are most afraid of and that more than IP violations are what they’re really going after when they attach music share services.
posted by willnot at 7:25 PM on February 22, 2002


Hmmm...maybe this will be a boon to XM and Sirius? I saw a nifty XM radio in a store ad the other day -- you can take it out of the car and put it on your desk, like a portable CD player.
posted by davidmsc at 7:29 PM on February 22, 2002


Is there a differentiation between for profit and non-profit sites?

This is the record industry we're talking about here. These people think you should pay them money every time you put on a CD at a party. (Not exaggerating.)
posted by jjg at 7:31 PM on February 22, 2002


Or is there some notion that the artists are "pure" and driven only by the creation of their music, while the executives are greedy, money-hungry pigs?

I'm not seeing that at all here. What I'm seeing is an unfair ruling regarding streaming audio. These channels promote artists which when done right benefits all, but the price is now prohibitive. A 33k mp3 stream is crap quality-wise compared to an FM broadcast, even from a low-watt local college station, yet the price is double per song?

There's a vested interest in maintaining top-40 radio system. I think the RIAA knows if they lose their ability to market 10-20 well-groomed bands to millions of people who have nothing else to listen to then it'll cost them big in the long run.
posted by skallas at 7:39 PM on February 22, 2002


section 9, paragraph 3 of the constitution:

"No
Bill of Attainder
or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

I assume that for some reason the "policy" of a "federal panel" doesn't count as a law? or something? some stuff about ex post facto laws...
posted by hob at 7:44 PM on February 22, 2002


can someone please explain how this affects streaming music by unsigned artists?
posted by lescour at 8:01 PM on February 22, 2002


hob - the supreme court has found that only applies to criminal law. As this is Civil law, it doesn't apply. Not saying that's a good thing.
posted by willnot at 8:22 PM on February 22, 2002


Oh - I see you linked the same thing. Sorry bout that.
posted by willnot at 8:24 PM on February 22, 2002


nobody holds a gun to the musicians' heads and forces them to sign a contract

That's all well and good skallas, but to really hit the big time, any band has to go to a large record company. They need the capital for manufacturing CDs, distribution, promotion, etc. Although the internet has to some degree removed these concerns, they still remain. This is why a lot of techno artists that were once online have cut CDs. Change is coming, almost certainly, but it's unfair to ask a lot of new bands to risk their future to end the RIAA's dominance.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 8:26 PM on February 22, 2002


OK, I have been living and breathing and litigating this case for the past year, and I can address some of the issues you guys raise. Let me start by saying you'd better believe there will be appeals on this; it ain't over yet. The reasoning isn't public yet, but the rates are here.

Hob: Ex Post Facto isn't an issue. The law that created this royalty was passed in 1998 -- Congress just left it to an arbitration panel to figure out the pesky detail of the actual rate of the license. It took this long to figure out -- this being the first time and all -- but everyone who has been streaming since 1998 knew this day would come (streamers were actually supposed to register with the Copyright Office to let them know that they were going to take advantage of the rate; otherwise, they're technically infringing).


machaus: There is no different rate for nonprofit Internet-only streamers, but there is a lower rate for broadcast simulcasters (.07 cents) and an even lower rate for non-commercial radio stations who stream just their over-the-air signal (.02 cents). In a nutshell, non-profit webcasters didn't participate in the arbitration and no one asked for a separate rate on their behalf.


lescour: This rate is to be paid for all copyrighted sound recordings, regardless of whether the artists are signed. The panel designated Sound Exchange -- a non-profit arm of RIAA -- to collect royalties on behalf of unknown copyright owners, and distribute the royalties accordingly. So if you want to get your $$, ask them.


davidmsc: Unfortunately, we're about to start a similar arbitration under the same laws for XM and Sirius. This will hurt them, because it will be used as precedent by RIAA to try to argue that the pre-existing digital audio satellite services (as the statute affectionately calls them) should pay at least this much, if not more.


Quick Copyright 101: Just to be clear about what is at stake here, there are two kinds of copyright embodied in your off-the-shelf CD: (1) the Sound Recording (basically, the embodied performance, like a CD of Whitney Houston singing "I Will Always Love You" -- artist and/recording company owns the copyright) and (2) the Musical Work (the song/composition itself -- think sheet music -- Dolly Parton actually wrote "I Will Always Love You"). There's been a right of public performance for musical works forever, and ASCAP, BMI and SESAC help administer performance rights for those songs, and have since the 1920s. The public performance right for sound recordings was just created in 1995, and even then only for performances by means of a digital transmission. Over-the-air broadcasters only pay ASCAP-type musical works royalties; they don't pay sound recording royalties. Congress' concern was that digital performances would negate the need for people to buy physical copies, cutting off the sound recording owner's income stream, but radio promotes sales of CDs. The rates set by the CARP (Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel; it should more logically be Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel but then the drafters realized that wasn't a nice acronym!) are ON TOP of what is already paid for the musical works, and also about ten times higher than the rate paid for musical works. I say the value, at best, should be equal. That's where a lot of the fight is, and will continue to be on appeal. With the rates as set now, a lot of people really will just stop streaming entirely, sorry to say.


Oh, and here's the best part: This rate is only good til the end of 2002. Then we have to start arbitrating all over again for the 2003-04 period. The only plus side is that it keeps me employed. We call it The Lawyers Perpetual Employment Act to comfort ourselves on those late nights.


posted by IPLawyer at 8:58 PM on February 22, 2002


Basically, this will cost anyone who streams about $240 a year, assuming they the only thing they broadcast is music covered by this ruling at about 20 tunes an hour (assuming average pop song length of 3 min), all day every day. $20 a month.

That's about what most people pay for Web hosting or Internet access. If you want to run your own Internet radio station, I don't see why this is a big deal. It's still dirt cheap compared to what you need to spend to run a real radio station.

Now, for the licensing fees to cost Live365 $150,000 a month, they'd have to be broadcasting 7500 unique "stations." I guess that's not out of the question, though it does seem like a lot. In any case, passing the cost on to the broadcasters is what they'll obviously do.
posted by kindall at 9:38 PM on February 22, 2002


My favourite internet radio station is run by an unemployed dj who spins at one of the local clubs one or two nights a week. It kicks ass, and there's no way she's going to pay $20 a month for the privilege of sharing her set lists. If this ruling is enforced, it'll be bye-bye Machineries of Joy, and I'll once again go back to never listening to the radio.

No matter how cheap the rate is, it's more expensive than zero, and for the vast majority of Internet broadcasters who do this for fun rather than profit, the game simply isn't going to be worth it anymore.

Keep on shooting, RIAA - eventually, there'll be more holes than feet left.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:51 PM on February 22, 2002


Kindall: It's not just .14 cents per song. It's .14 cents per performance -- that means per song per individual listener. Whether the listener hears ten seconds or the whole song. If 10,000 people are listening at once, that three minute song just cost the webcaster $14. Using your math of 20 songs an hour times 24 hours a day, you're up to $6,720 in one 24 hour period. Mow multiply by dozens of channels, too. That's why the cash register is ka-chinging so fast. "Real radio stations" don't pay this kind of royalty at all, so there is a definite disparity there (although their websites do, at half this rate, which I hope you can now see is still prohibitively expensive). These fractions of a cent seem small, but they certainly will add up fast.
posted by IPLawyer at 9:57 PM on February 22, 2002


An easy way to see how these numbers fit in with what the parties were asking for: .14 cents per song is 1/3 what RIAA asked for at the outset of the arbitration, but it's also ten times what webcasters asked for.
posted by IPLawyer at 10:04 PM on February 22, 2002


Why's it make a difference at this point? Despite what the talking heads are saying on TV, I see no indication that the recession is coming to an end. Companies are still laying off people and the unemployment rate is not going down. Another year of this and no one will be able to afford to stream music or even get online to download a webpage.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:10 PM on February 22, 2002


IP what, if any, impact could the other ruling today have on this? If I'm reading it correctly, the labels may not even actually own the Internet licensing rights for the music they publish.

Are we talking about the publishing rights or the SR copyright in this case?
posted by bump at 10:41 PM on February 22, 2002


Oops, scratch that second question, I didn't read your earlier post carefully enough.
posted by bump at 10:43 PM on February 22, 2002


Thanks for the terrific posts, IPLawyer. (and thanks to Matt for pointing them out.)
posted by Marquis at 10:49 PM on February 22, 2002


At this point, I favor any and all violations of copyright law, which I consider to be virtuous acts of civil disobedience.
posted by Rebis at 10:57 PM on February 22, 2002


IP, you say this applies to all copyrighted works, regardless of whether the musicians are signed or not. Surely an unsigned band wouldn't have to pay to stream their own music though, right? I wouldn't have asked this last week, but after reading this thread it doesn’t seem so impossibly ridiculous.
posted by Nothing at 11:49 PM on February 22, 2002


davidmsc-> Another issue is how little the Artists actually makes off the selling of albumns. I read the figures in the paper, and it was an outrage that they made so little on the CD. I don't have a link about it, so if anyone out there does, would be great.
I've also always wondered why RIAA allows stores to sell used CDs? For instance, i bought some CDs used tonight, but wouldn't have new b/c of the price difference. Doesn't it disturb the RIAA that they're not making ANY money off of me b/c i can buy used CDs? Maybe its some obvious law or something, but just curious.
posted by jmd82 at 12:06 AM on February 23, 2002


Many CDs have some fine print on them that says something to the effect of "not for resale." I think they attempted to stop reselling of CDs, cassettes and vinyl a long time ago, but were unsuccessful. I can't find any links to verify this at the moment, but I also think at the time they bitched and moaned that this reselling process was going to kill them financially. Funny how history has a tendency to repeat itself, isn't it?
posted by ZachsMind at 2:41 AM on February 23, 2002


It's not just .14 cents per song. It's .14 cents per performance -- that means per song per individual listener.

Are you sure? The story linked in this thread, and another on NewsBytes, claim it's a per-song fee.
posted by rcade at 5:26 AM on February 23, 2002


How are they going to inforce this on thousands of independant web broadcasters?

If I decided to post a song on my site and stream it where do I send the check?

I hate that everyone is struggling to make this more difficult for everyone.
posted by KnitWit at 6:12 AM on February 23, 2002


rcade: IPLawyer has intimate personal knowledge of this case and of the ruling, since she spent many nights away from her husband working on it. She's a primary source, whereas the stories you link to are secondary sources and are inaccurate to boot.
posted by mikewas at 6:24 AM on February 23, 2002


I'm not disputing her expertise; I'd just like a little more corroboration of the claim. I don't see how any streaming broadcaster could survive paying 0.14 cents per song per listener.
posted by rcade at 6:53 AM on February 23, 2002


rcade: Believe me, I am absolutely positive of the impact this will have on the clients who have been paying me to negelct my husband and dog for all these many months. Even those of us working on the case sometimes slip into the vernacular and call it "per song," but in reality listenership plays very strongly into the mix. If you look at the actual document identifying the rates that was issued by the CARP (.pdf) you'll see they label it a per performance royalty.


nothing: The short answer to your question is no. The lawyerly answer is that copyright owners can publicly perform their musical works and their sound recordings to their hearts delight -- the only people they would have to pay is themselves. Just be sure that you as an unsigned band actually own the copyrights! If you made the Sound Recording yourself, then you are the author of the CD. But if it's a cover song, you technically owe the composer a royalty if you stream it. That royalty gets paid either directly to the composer, or to whichever performing rights organization (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) the composer is affiliated with.


jmd82: Copyright Law has something called the First Sale Doctrine (17 USC Sec. 109). Basically, it says that the physical object the copyrighted work is embodied in (in the statutory language, a "copy" or "phonorecord") is distinct from the copyrighted work itself. The plus side for owners is that selling the physical object does not mean selling the copyright -- you don't buy the copyrights in all the music on a CD when you purchase it, what you are really buying is a copy and a narrow license to listen to the music on demand. The down side for owners is that they can't prevent resale. The problem, as you can now probably imagine, is what happens when the work is digitized, and in effect separated from a physical object.


KnitWit: You ask a good question, and I honestly don't know how that is going to play out (and I am not going to do RIAA's job for them by thinking of creative ways!!). Technically, you can only take advantage of this rate if you filed something with the Copyright Office before you started streaming -- people who don't file are technically infringers, unless they can prove fair use or some other exception. Save your post as proof that you were willing to send a check right away if they ever do come after you. =)


bump: Actually, that's a great question. The issue of whether the record companies even own the copyrights in a lot of sound recordings -- particularly those originally recorded before the late 1970s -- is the elephant in the room that RIAA would rather ignore. The Napster court is finally getting to that issue, and the MP3.com court touched on it as well. It will be fun to watch that one play out!


posted by IPLawyer at 6:57 AM on February 23, 2002


I don't see how any streaming broadcaster could survive paying 0.14 cents per song per listener.

That would be exactly why we feel the rate set by the panel needs to be overturned. And to be technical, internet-only webcasters will pay .14 cents if this stands, but broadcasters who simulcast their over-the-air stream will pay .07 cents per performance. Even at .07 cents, most broadcasters have publicly said they won't stream on a going-forward basis. The fact that it is a per performance royalty also explains why Live365's math was so different from the math posted by kindall. Live365 has been active in the litigation; they know what's at stake and have the lawyer bills to prove it.


posted by IPLawyer at 7:06 AM on February 23, 2002


thanks so much for your posts, IPLawyer—they're really informative. my colleagues at a wprb, which also streams its broadcasts, have been wondering how the results of this case will affect future webcasts. i personally am most worried about how this will affect low-power, independent stations that rely heavily on their online listener userbase for donations/life support (like wfmu)—they're totally cash-strapped as it is.
posted by maura at 8:38 AM on February 23, 2002


There is no different rate for nonprofit Internet-only streamers...

FYI -- the Newsbytes article sez this...

"The CARP recommendation....also includes special rates for non-commercial Webcasting of recorded music: 0.05 cents for each all- Internet play or 0.02 cents for radio simulcasts."
posted by sad_otter at 9:24 AM on February 23, 2002


If it's 0.14 per song per listener, then obviously, the same price should apply to over-the-air broadcasters. Simply use the same audience numbers they give their advertisers.
posted by kindall at 12:36 PM on February 23, 2002


Radio licenses are calculated based on revenue - which is at least indirectly a function of total audience, so in a manner of speaking they are charged based on the number of listeners. Still, for stations billing less than $150K, there is a flat fee schedule, and that seems (to me at least) like a more appropriate way to license web streams.
posted by willnot at 12:58 PM on February 23, 2002


Sad_Otter: The article is wrong, the article is wrong, the article is wrong. Ahem, sorry 'bout that. The .05 cent fee is very specifically only for up to two internet-only "side channels" that are affiliated with a very specific class of non-profit broadcasters called "non-CPB, non-commercial broadcasters." If the broadcaster has more than two internet-only channels, the rest of them pay the commercial rate of .14 cents per performance. Internet-only webcasters that aren't affiliated with a radio station similarly pay the full .14, even if they are not-for-profit. The .02 applies only to simulcasts of broadcasts of non-CPB, non-commercial broadcasters. Once again, I point you to the source document, the rate sheet created by the CARP(.pdf). The news coverage on this has pretty much only gotten things about 70 percent right at best. Particularly egregious, actually, was the Wired article, which surprised the hell out of me (I won't grace it with a link).


Maura: Thanks! If your station is noncommercial as defined by the decision, you may qualify for the lowest rate -- .02 cents per performance. That's still high, but a heck of a lot lower than .14. If you're affiliated with NPR or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, you should contact NPR, because they negotiated a separate settlement with RIAA that is presumably even lower than this (the terms of that deal are secret; the other parties to the litigation don't even know them). It is going to be hard on independent stations. You guys should definitely talk to a music licensing lawyer if you can, or maybe NAB or NRB if you are affiliated with either of those.


Willnot: You're right about the musical works performance fees being based on revenue, which is intended to be a proxy for audiuence. One of the big issues throughout the arbitration was whether a revenue-based fee was appropriate in the Internet space, seeing as how webcasters don't really have all that much revenue at present. Another issue was, even if it's revenue-based, which revenue do you count? A percentage of all of AOL's revenue just because once small portion of AOL happens to be Spinner? All of Spinner's revenue or just that which could be directly linked to the music? Because webcasters offer a lot more than just music, it would be difficult to set appropriate boundaries. That's likely why the CARP ended up going with a straight per-performance model. The webcasters made their rate request by converting the royalties paid by broadcasters for muscial work performances to a per-performance number, and assuming that the musical works and sound recordings should be worth about the same. The proposal was 10 times lower than what the CARP ended up ordering.


Kindall: RIAA would like nothing more than for Radio stations to pay the same amount. Unfortunately, they don't have any right to royalties from radio stations, because there is no Sound Recording public performance right EXCEPT when the performance is by means of a digital audio transmission (See 17 U.S.C. Sec. 106(6)). This is why traditional broadcasters want to stay over-the-air and won't go digital any time in the near future.


posted by IPLawyer at 2:08 PM on February 23, 2002


How hard is Spinner(AOL) fighting this? Doesn't the Warner Bros. side of the business profit from these fees?
posted by phoenix enflamed at 3:07 PM on February 23, 2002


Hmm...



From my P.O.V. as a Filthy Foreigner:



a) Isn't this somehow unconstitutional (not so much the post facto bit as the whole damn thing)?



b) Just out of curiosity. what about non-U.S. broadcasters with an internet stream (such as the B.B.C.)?
posted by Grangousier at 3:09 PM on February 23, 2002


It sounds to me that the RIAA now has the right to approach any college or public radio station out there that has a live webcast and retroactively extort hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is money that these stations just cannot afford.

This is ludicrous, frankly. If it weren't for radio, the musicians wouldn't be able to sell their product in the first place. To make matters worse, from what I understand, the royalty system is highly skewed towards the big artists, since the mainstream radio stations are more heavily weighted.

In other words, you won't be able to listen to Cibbo Matto on the web anymore... and if you do, N'Sync (and the RIAA) will get the royalty money.

So, where's the justice in that?!
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:25 PM on February 23, 2002


One of the big issues throughout the arbitration was whether a revenue-based fee was appropriate in the Internet space, seeing as how webcasters don't really have all that much revenue at present

Kind of a catch 22 isn't it? We can't bill you based on revenue because you don't have any. You can't stay in business long enough to develop a reliable revenue stream because you can't afford to pay our fees while you're attempting to reach critical mass.

The CPM for web advertising is already way too high due to the cost of ad serving (among other things), add an additional $.14 just to pay the licensing fees, and there is just no way to make it work.

Sure, the idea that everything can be free on the Internet is a pipe dream that's slowly collapsing on itself, but the alternative can't be pricing everything so high that it could never support its own weight.

I can understand why groups like the RIAA want to kill Internet distribution. That's a direct threat to the choke point that allows them to prosper, but for the publishers, this kind of thing seems like found money. How can nothing be preferable to something to those people? It doesn't add up (unless they're getting pressure from said RIAA - in which case, what has to happen to finally nail those people for their anti-competitive behavior - I mean for real not just a ruling to be used as a bargaining chip in a Napster settlement).

I take your second point about which revenues should we look at. I’m not sure what the answer is, but it can’t be well let’s just price it so high it kills the channel so we don’t need to worry about it.
posted by willnot at 4:02 PM on February 23, 2002


Cheers to IPLawyer for her lucid posts!
posted by donovan at 4:04 PM on February 23, 2002


insomnia_lj: luckily, most college and public stations will be covered by the special NPR deal. I don't know the terms, but assuming it was somewhere near NPR's original rate request -- hell, even if it's double NPR's original rate request -- it's still a heck of a lot lower than what the CARP came up with, and shouldn't put those stations out of the streaming business entirely.


willnot & insomnia both hit major points of what the Webcasters' argument was in this arbitration to begin with. We spent a lot of time and energy trying to show just how much radio (and by extension, webcasting) promotes both more listenership and sales (how many of you have bought CDs you otherwise would never have even heard of? I am guessing a lot). And trying to convince them that it doesn't make sense to put us out of business.


posted by IPLawyer at 5:21 PM on February 23, 2002


KTRU, the college radio station I volunteered at as an undergrad, has had a live Internet stream of our on-air broadcasts for about three years now. Just today I heard that our station manager is extremely worried about the legislation's effect on KTRU and stations like it. It's not that the fees would be high -- we qualify for low rates and could probably pay -- but that we'd have to do lots of extra work to report things in the appropriate way. I'm not very familiar with the details, but our station manager seems to think the reporting requirements alone, even if no fees were paid, would be enough to take small college and community stations off the web.

By the way, many thanks to IPLawyer for taking time to explain the issues. You're part of the reason the Internet is cool.
posted by jacobm at 8:48 PM on February 23, 2002


b) Just out of curiosity. what about non-U.S. broadcasters with an internet stream (such as the B.B.C.)?

You might not know.. but the European Union is going to try and force retailers WORLDWIDE to charge Value Added Tax on purchases made by EU citizens. This has pissed the US off a great deal, and it remains to be seen what will happen.

Having the same thing apply to this doesn't seem too far fetched.. but the UK has its own system of royalty payments, so I'd imagine it'd remain on its own system.
posted by wackybrit at 8:10 AM on February 24, 2002


Jacobm -- thanks a bunch. Please e-mail me; I would like to talk to you about getting in touch with your buddies at KTRU. We're looking for people to testify about how impossible the proposed recordkeeping is.
posted by IPLawyer at 10:20 AM on February 24, 2002


So what can we do to fight this?
posted by elvissinatra at 10:24 AM on February 25, 2002


So what can we do to fight this?

My thoughts exactly.
posted by Hackworth at 8:34 AM on March 7, 2002


IPLawyer - you rock! Thanks for taking the time to explain this to us.
posted by Dinzie at 5:45 PM on March 26, 2002


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