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September 05, 2007

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Rufus

Wait wait wait. The way I'm reading this, you have to pay the per-song-per-listener fee if you play stuff from people that SoundExchange doesn't represent? And you have to pay those fees to SoundExchange?

Liz B.

Yep, you've got it, Rufus. SoundExchange runs the webcasting royalty market with little to no oversight. They are charged by language in the DMCA to distribute webcasting royalties to all artists, regardless of whether they are registered members or not. We've previously pointed out their inability to locate thousands of artists: check out their unpaid artist list.

SoundExchange represents about 20,000 artists, and on behalf of those artists, it will collect a portion of a small webcaster's annual revenue. For the zillions of other artists that a small webcaster might play, SoundExchange will collect per-song-per-listener fees and (supposedly) distribute the money to these non-SoundExchange members accordingly.

I have no idea how this crazy royalty split-rate will be calculated for small commercial webcasters, and I hope for their sake that the burden of this dirty work ends up in the hands of SoundExchange (perhaps they will realize the impossibility of this scheme).

Rufus

Well that's retarded. I remember talk of the list of people they couldn't find but I guess I had never put the two together. The DMCA never fails to amaze me in its complete backasswardness.

The way I see it, SoundExchange opens itself up to tremendously damaging class-action suits with this scheme. But I'm willing to bet they're indemnified from those by the DMCA too.

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