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April 27, 2007



I called Steve Rothman's (D-NJ-9) office. A nice lady took down my message and info and said she'd pass the message along. We'll see...


Can somebody give a bottom line prognosis about how this will affect WFMU? Will this kill the webcasts?

Station Manager Ken

"Can somebody give a bottom line prognosis about how this will affect WFMU? Will this kill the webcasts?"

Bottom line is NO, it will not kill our webcasts. We've received hundreds and hundreds of waivers from artists and independent record labels which puts us in a different position than most other stations on this issue. We'll be getting even more waivers in the future and we're also putting together an online library of music and audio material that is free and clear of the RIAA and Sound Exchange.



I called my congress-critter as well. They took down my info, promised to save the world, etc.. Who knows what will happen?

On the up side, my station manager says that due to the small size of our station, we can weather the changes regardless-- though it's still a lot of wasted money.


Thanks Ken. As usual, you go above and beyond the call of duty, both in finding creative, proactive responses to this kind of idiocy and in being available to and straightforward with listeners about what to expect next.

I'm sure the solution you've detailed above is the best way to go, although it will be a shame to see WFMU DJ's limited in any way in their choices of what to play. What the hell with poor Glen Jones do, for instance? No Springstein? No Sinatra? No Pilot? No Looking Glass?

I guess Kenny G and Irwin will have to work even harder to dig up alternative versions of bygone top 40 hits done by psychotic recluses, children's choirs, and barking dogs. If this is to be the future of WFMU, so be it. I embrace it and I will support it!

Ron D

RIAA's affiliate organization SoundExchange claims it has the right to collect royalties for any artist, no matter if they have signed with an RIAA label or not

I really wish a hole would open up and swallow the whole damn organization.


Station Manager Ken

It's true that the RIAA has the right to collect royalties from labels that dont even belong to the RIAA. Equally amazing is that the RIAA doesn't have to pay those labels under many (some would say most) conditions. The only way out of this madness is to get waivers and licenses directly from the artists and labels, so that is what we're doing.

Fatherflot: We won't have to restrict what people play on the air. The waivers and licenses sufficiently lower our rates.




So, DJ's will not be restricted as to what they play "on the air", but will that mean that web streaming content will diverge from air content when a RIAA recording is played on the air? Or will this mean, somehow, that WFMU will simply be in a better position to pay royalties when Glen Jones plays Led Zeppelin and Cat Stevens on the air and on the web stream?

I've been puzzling this out and imagining that the web stream shows will need to have a "home assembly" component, where a three minute passage of dead air is heard, along with the announcement "please insert 'Island Girl' by Elton John and Kiki Dee from your home collection for proper effect."

I was imagining Kenny G having a lot of phone with this challenge--like an entire show of silence punctuated by occasional back-announcing of tracks which WFMU cannot afford to play over their webstreams due to excessive RIAA royalties.

It boggles the mind.


I meant to write "Kenng G having a lot of fun," and I'm both fascinated and disturbed by my own typo above.


. . . As well as the typo in my last typo-correction post. Arrgh.

Listener Paul

It's important that everyone contact their congressperson. A few things--this bill is in its earliest stages, so be prepared to follow up. Phone calls are good, and follow up with a real letter in an envelop with a stamp--e-mails don't have the same impact. Address your letter to the district office, not the DC office. Anthrax scares make mail difficult to get through that way.

Your letter need not be long--something along the lines of "I urge you to co-sponsor HR 2060 Internet Radio Equality Act." A few lines why you think this is important are better than cutting and pasting a long explanation from some website.

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