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July 12, 2007

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Contacting again (now). I urge everyone to do so. Considering the majority of us who read this blog listen to freeform and independent (often-very-unique) stations and shows. WFMU and LuxuriaMusic are staples for my online radio diet.

Thanks Liz for the update. Now off to convince myself there is hope and try not to cuss too much.

Nicholas

Its nice to see the government and corporations get involved in killing the free market.

SKM

Liz, here's the latest -- SX apparently has promised Congress that it won't begin enforcement on Monday since good faith negotiations are ongoing.

http://blog.wired.com/music/2007/07/breaking-news-o.html

Kurt Hanson's RAIN blog (http://www.kurthanson.com/) should have the SX confirmation on this stay of execution by morning. It's not perfect news (since the official rates remain unchanged), but at least there won't be payments due for a little while longer.

tentoes

What I don't get is this: (and I apologize in advance for being misinformed and ill-read) How does this payment structure relate to non-RIAA/Soundscan etc. artists?

Lets say my friend Gummy George does a one hour set of original material every day. Does he have to pay on a per user basis to have RIAA/Soundscan collect the fees, take their cut and pay him the back the remainder? Does Gummy George have to pay a corporation for the privledge of broadcasting his own music on the internet? Even if he wants it free?

If it's just artists in the conglomerate then it's not the same kind of loss, though it ain't right. New artists are mostly in tune with tecnology and can steer clear of this nonsense. Dead and older artists will continue to be held hostage by the current crazy copyright law.

I'm just not sure about the details of this thing. Is it a fee paid to the corporation per song, no matter who owns the song or does it only affect artists under the umbrella of the Soundscan system?

If my friend Gummy George has to pay protection money to Soundscan, in addition to his ISP charges, for the priveledge of using the internet to communicate then I smell trouble. In a way I don't care about old media squeezing the last pennies out of their dried up business model. It's stupid and pathetic but once they render that dying system completely unprofitable, it will revert to libraries or whatever, where it can be better appreciated. But if they're attempting to make my friend pay an additional fee just because he's singing then that's a constitutional issue and I want to burn stuff.

Liz B.

Tentoes - SoundExchange has the power to collect webcasting royalties on behalf of ANY artist, RIAA-affiliated or not. Thanks to the geniuses who wrote the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), SoundExchange was granted that power, and only a revision to the law can change that.

Here's what that means to your musician friend, Gummy George. While he does not have to pay a direct fee to SoundExchange, he must register with SoundExchange in order to collect his royalty money. If he doesn't know anything about SoundExchange and their shoddy detective work can't find him, they keep his royalties. Otherwise, 45% of the royalty money goes to the "featured artist" (in this case, Gummy George), 5% is to be divided amongst his band members or studio musicians, and the other 50% goes to his record label.

If Gummy George doesn't want SoundExchange to be collecting his royalties, he must sign separate agreements with each and every webcaster who plays his music, either working out a separate royalty deal for each, or flat-out releasing each webcaster from owing any royalties for playing his music.

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