"...The Copyright Office followed almost to the letter the RIAA's wish list."
February 20, 2002 4:11 PM   Subscribe

"...The Copyright Office followed almost to the letter the RIAA's wish list." The final nail may be about to be driven into the coffin of online music streaming in the US, as the Copyright Office issued its notice of proposed rulemaking on the issue. The proposed rules are extremely favorable to the RIAA, to the point where many streamers are saying they'll simply have to shut down. Even worse, any ruling will be retroactive to 1998, and streamers will have to pay the announced rate on everything they've streamed since that year.
posted by aaron (16 comments total)

ah, win some, lose some.

... now back to downloading everything ever recorded since the dawn of time...
posted by tsarfan at 4:24 PM on February 20, 2002

RIAA's ultimate goal is to make a pay-per-play service where they retain the exclusive rights to the music, and where they'll make only that which they deem to offer the public available for a price. They just can't compete with 'free' so they have to buy the system so that they can change it.

An earlier post was talking about how copyright laws are destroying culture. What if The Mona Lisa was bought by an individual who refused to allow it to be displayed in a museum but instead just hung it in his bedroom where only he and his girlfriend could look at it?

I guess that would have been his prerogative, wouldn't it? He could have insisted that only people who paid him $9.95 an hour got to see it.

Maybe the dark ages weren't really dark, but whenever something really cool came along, some rich guy had it bought or otherwise aquired. So today we think only the Roman Catholic Church had smart, clean-dressed people (in the upper echelons at least) and everybody else lived in filth... Come to think of it, the RC church had a bunch of rich guys, didn't it?
posted by ZachsMind at 4:31 PM on February 20, 2002

Hello listeners! This is your favourite pirate radio station, streaming the top 40 hits from a web host located in a small town close to the Gulf of Tonkin!

Traditional radio stations that stream will have a tough time with this, but just as Europe has used international waters to host pirate radio, so will be worldwide medium of the web result in streams coming from outside the US, and the range of the RIAA. Then they won't get any money or control period.

Those RIAA people. They're loopy.
posted by Salmonberry at 4:43 PM on February 20, 2002

The anti-RIAA sticker on my car (the only sticker I have ever placed on any car I have ever owned) has faded in the sun into near-illegibility....
posted by rushmc at 4:52 PM on February 20, 2002

Where might I get an anti-RIAA sticker? I don't have any stickers on my car.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:16 PM on February 20, 2002

The RadioHorizon link mentions that the reporting requirements are the most onerous part of the CARP proposal (and the ones listed there are indeed extreme). But, I can't find those requirements anywhere in the actual proposal. In fact, the CARP proposal goes out of its way to say that reporting requirements can't be determined until the way to allocate payments to copyright holders is figured out and that they can't require more than what is necessary to figure out such allocation:
A statement of account shall include only such information as is necessary to calculate the accompanying royalty payment. Additional information beyond that which is sufficient to calculate the royalty payments to be paid shall not be included on the statement of account. (section 3.e)

As for the actual rate, it is on par with what broadcasters currently pay. We're talking here about commercial radio stations paying about 10 grand a year (12 songs/hour @ $0.07 per) for simulcasting on the web in addition to what they currently pay for broadcasting over the airwaves and web broadcasters paying $0.14/song.
posted by dchase at 5:35 PM on February 20, 2002

I hate to be an ass, but how is it religion gets thrown in every debate (3rd comment)?
posted by jmd82 at 8:14 PM on February 20, 2002

How DARE they try and prevent people from stealing music!!!
posted by UrbanFigaro at 9:19 PM on February 20, 2002

Would someone care to explain the whole ex post facto thing here? I was under the impression that was rather expressly forbidden by the constitution.
posted by Nothing at 2:01 AM on February 21, 2002

UrbanFigaro: You'll note that theft and copyright infringement, while both illegal, are different.
posted by ODiV at 2:38 AM on February 21, 2002

How DARE they try and prevent people from stealing music!!!

Kneel before the almighty corporation! There was a time, not too long ago, where the rights of corporations weren't held as sacred. I'm considering writing a book about it.
posted by jpoulos at 7:24 AM on February 21, 2002

dchase, this document is what RadioHorizon is referencing. It's worth reading.

I noticed it also says this, which seems to leave some room for negotiation:

Other interested parties, however, may find the requirements too stringent and burdensome in spite of RIAA's assertions. Such parties should identify any problems they perceive with the proposed regulations and explain with specificity the reasons why the regulations are unworkable or unduly burdensome, or exceed the needs of the copyright owners.
posted by smackfu at 7:58 AM on February 21, 2002

ZachsMind: You can buy anti-RIAA stickers at ThinkGeek
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:19 AM on February 21, 2002

15GB of illegal mp3s and growing...
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 12:44 PM on February 21, 2002

FYI, the rulemaking is about the reporting requirements that go along with the administration of the royalty rates determined by the CARP earlier this week. The proposal is basically RIAA's wishlist, because no one but RIAA (who requested the rulemaking) has had a chance to have a say yet. The broadcasters and webcasters now have to refute RIAA's requests, rather than starting from scratch. First set of comments are due March 11th. If anyone knows small broadcasters or webcasters who absolutely technologically could not comply, please tell them to e-mail me. We are looking for people on the front lines to testify against this CRAP.
posted by IPLawyer at 9:18 PM on February 22, 2002

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