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June 26, 2007



As a kid we had the Tokens 45 and I must have listened to it hundreds of times. For much of mmy adult life I was under the impression that the song was "traditional" and sung by dockworkers. It wasn't until one day I was idly googling that I turned up stuff like you have here. It's a shame really, I still like the Tokens version.

Barrett Golding

Adam Rosen of Oakbog Studios did a nice mix-medley of the many covers of Lion Sleeps:

Jim Russell

I hate to inform you, but you CAN'T avoid SoundExchange by boycotting only RIAA-controlled music. SoundExchange has secured the rights to collect NO MATTER WHO CONTROLS THE COPYRIGHT!!!!

See this page:

This is why you really should fully participate in the Day of Silence.

Ryan M

How does this work exactly? I ask because Silverchair, which at least in the music industry must have been the biggest taxpayers for the Australian Government in the 1990s, is on the list. Is this just for royalties gained from US airtime?

Station Manager Ken

Jim -

There are lots of recordings that SoundExchange is not allowed to collect on, including recordings that never came out on record in the first place, as well as recordings from record labels that have explicitly given us permission to webcast free of the DMCA. (We've received hundreds of such waivers from artists and small labels.)

Then there's public domain material and many other categories as well, including the fact that SoundExchange only has reciprocal agreements with three countries on the entire planet. So in fact, there is TONS of music that SoundExchange doesn't have rights over.

What you are referring to is the fact that SoundExchange has the right to collect fees on material from record labels that are not members of the RIAA. But as you can see, that's far from the end of the story. That is also only true if a webcaster has "opted in" to the statutory agreement with SoundExchnage, and there is currently no statutory agreement to opt in on.

I'm all for protesting these rates and I'm glad so many stations are doing so. But the "Day of Silence" only serves to perpetuate the false myth that SoundExchange and the RIAA control all the music on the planet.



If labels have the right to grant permission to stations, then contacting elected officials is only one part of the solution. Write letters to the labels themselves, as well as the artists they represent. Let them know that the inherent unfairness of this decision is enough to make you stop buying their records altogether, and that you will have no truck with such an evil regime. And be polite!

Jim Russell

Ken, I really hope you are right, but fear you aren't. If the Copyright Office really did grant SoundExchange the compulsory license that SoundExchage *said* they did, it's really dicey even if you get waivers. Watch that carefully constructed legalese about SRCOs ("sound recording copyright owners"). This is purposely intended to encompass all the things you mention.

Again, I hope you're right. By any reasonable interpretation of the Constitution you should be right. But that don't mean squat when the federal government is pwned by the RIAA.

Station Manager Ken

Jim - I've checked and double checked our approach with several lawyers who are well versed in this issue, so I think we're OK. Our waiver was written by a lawyer who studied the DMCA very carefully.


Our pals - Jim, Ken, and Wanda at participated in the day of silence. I believe internet radio offers us an alternative choice to the crap commercial radio is trying to cram down our throats. It is absolutely censorship when they are treated this unfairly. If You visit there is a link to easily contact your senator or congressional representative, and urge them to pass the new legislation which will bring royalty fairness back to the web.

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