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Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected

Dicho (Frank Staplin) 22 May 02 - 05:34 PM
artbrooks 22 May 02 - 08:11 PM
mack/misophist 22 May 02 - 09:26 PM
Devilmaster 23 May 02 - 01:43 AM
harvey andrews 23 May 02 - 04:35 AM
SeanM 23 May 02 - 05:41 AM
harvey andrews 23 May 02 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,bruce nemerov 23 May 02 - 09:58 AM
PeteBoom 23 May 02 - 10:11 AM
greg stephens 23 May 02 - 10:13 AM
MMario 23 May 02 - 10:20 AM
greg stephens 23 May 02 - 10:51 AM
PeteBoom 23 May 02 - 11:11 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 23 May 02 - 01:10 PM
harvey andrews 23 May 02 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 23 May 02 - 02:27 PM
Devilmaster 23 May 02 - 03:03 PM
katlaughing 24 May 02 - 04:11 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 24 May 02 - 04:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 02 - 06:18 PM
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Subject: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 May 02 - 05:34 PM

The latest decision, and a good review of the situation, is contained in this article from the Washington Post, published May 21: Royalty Plan


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: artbrooks
Date: 22 May 02 - 08:11 PM

Huzzah!!


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: mack/misophist
Date: 22 May 02 - 09:26 PM

Loud Huzzahs.


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: Devilmaster
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:43 AM

*loud applause*


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: harvey andrews
Date: 23 May 02 - 04:35 AM

Librarian of Congress James Billington today rejected a proposal that would force Internet radio stations to compensate musicians and labels for the songs they broadcast

Out of deep interest, could the above huzzarers please explain why, on a forum dedicated to music and musicians, they are happy at said musicians not being paid for the use of their work? Would they be happy if the situation was applied to their own work?


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: SeanM
Date: 23 May 02 - 05:41 AM

I think the 'huzzaing' is for the OVERWHELMING percentage of Internet radio stations would have been obliterated by the fees that were being proposed.

The problem with the idea is that it's easier than ever to have your own station - there's no FCC regulation to say what you can broadcast for internet stations, VERY low overhead (usually just a few inexpensive if not freeware programs, one good 'webcaster', and a lot of bandwidth), and a LOT of people have become amateur radio operators with zero income for the station.

These are the ones very directly hurt by the situation. Even the few net stations that 'make money' still can't afford the punitive level of fees that were being discussed.

Now if they would consider the commercial radio rates - that's a bit more realistic, plus with the internet format it's usually VERY easy to submit full playlists. But that wasn't considered.

M


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: harvey andrews
Date: 23 May 02 - 09:29 AM

So it's not the principle of charging it's the practice adopted that's the issue?


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: GUEST,bruce nemerov
Date: 23 May 02 - 09:58 AM

In addition to what's already been said, I might add that the new portion of the revenue under this plan will, in all likelihood, never reach the featured artists anyway. They must depend on the record company's good will to get paid and with "unrecouped expenses" and other contractual argle-bargle, I'm pretty sure the labels'd feel the money needn't be passed on. The music publishers, with their historic legislative and legal muscle, have never let the songwriter's royalties get anywhere near the record companies. Songwriters only need to keep an eye on the publisher!


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: PeteBoom
Date: 23 May 02 - 10:11 AM

Aside from the wee tiny detail that few, if any, webcasters would be able to remain in business under the initial proposals. Saw an interesting study somewhere, will post a link if I can find it, showing that most broadcast radio stations would ALSO go bankrupt under these proposed rules.

Cheers -

Pete


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 May 02 - 10:13 AM

well, I know all the arguments in favour of freedom and so on but basically I'm with Harvey andrews. I'm waiting for the headlines. "Scoolteachers' pay slashed" HOORAY. "Sociology lecturers face penury" HUZZAH "Lawyer's all bankrupt" YIPPEE


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: MMario
Date: 23 May 02 - 10:20 AM

Greg - do you honestly think much if any of that money would be paid to the creators of the music? Even from such things as ASCAP and BMI license I believe it is only about 12% that gets distributed to artists - and THAT is done on a formula based on PUBLISHERS!


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 May 02 - 10:51 AM

No I don't Mmario, the poor bloody musicians arealways last in line, don't I know it.But whatI, and I presume Harvey Andrews, are objecting to is the use of terms like Hooray andHuzzah to applaud the defeat of a measure designd, however imperfectly, to help musicians to get paid for their work: because we feel as professional musicians we've got as much right to get paid for our work as the practioners of whatever other jobs are done by fellow Mudcatters. Those Hoorays and Huzzahs are deeply hurtful, believe it or not, it's the glee that does it.My electricity bill just arrived. Now, an extra £20 on my royalty cheque would be bloody wonderful.


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: PeteBoom
Date: 23 May 02 - 11:11 AM

That, greg, I can fully agree with. What has me irked is the high-handed (and heavy-handed) approach to the whole issue. Painting hobbyists with the same brush as AOL-Time-Warner and Yahoo (both of whom run their own services and lobbied heavily against the proposal) is completely unrealistic.

Perhaps round 2 will produce a more reasonable approach differentiating between for-profit 'casters and those doing it for giggles - much like the approach in the States for "community" radio and commercial radio. If that means a few more shekles in the pocket of the performers, GREAT! As long as the goose doesn't loose its head for the golden eggs...

Hey - we're thrilled when the local station plays our stuff - let's people know we are still playing, even if the local drinking establishment can't afford our now standard rates. (of course, we play there once in a while for grins - we like the ol' Office!)

Ah well....

Pete


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:10 PM

The loud "huzzahs" are premature. If you have read the article in the Washington Post (click in first posting), it is evident that only the first round has ended. There will be a royalty proposal adopted, but which one remains to be seen. Those who believe letter-writing will help should continue their efforts.
A decision is due June 20, but could be delayed. Webcasters want the fees based on a percentage of revenue basis. Whatever decision is reached probably will satisfy no one.
Also note that the Senate Judiciary Committee may change the ground rules.


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: harvey andrews
Date: 23 May 02 - 02:08 PM

Lawyer's all bankrupt" YIPPEE
Oh dear...I might Huzzah that one myself!!


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 23 May 02 - 02:27 PM

I don't think there are any 'catters that would not want musicians to get paid for their work. The issue here is the ability of the small, not-for-profit broadcasters to continue to program music, and music that is not being heard on larger commercial and non-commercial radio at that. It is a little late to re-visit the issue as it shaped up in early days of radio, but as I understand it, it was brought up by the record companies crying that radio would cut into sales of records, because people could listen to them for free, and not buy them. Obviously this is fallacious, given the amount of record sales of popular songs. Everyone that heard the Beatles for example, day in and day out on the radio, still went out and bought the singles and albums. If you can't hear it you won't like it, and THEN you won't buy it. As for the artists, they got/get screwed by the song publishers and record companies, not by the public, and many performers rely/relied on concert tickets for the bulk of thier income, not on record sales, the royalties from which were eaten up by production costs and other contractual agreements. Now the model, though, is the BMI or ASCAP one, and I think it is pretty sad that we couldn't have learned from those earlier agreements how to do it BETTER, so that artists actually get a share, & it is not just a windfall profit for whoever bought the rights to a tune, or who owns the masters of a recording. Performers of Folk music, of all genres, can only benefit by having thier music heard by greater numbers of people. Webcasting is helping them, at no charge to them, and if a small college station is paying its electric bill by student fees and community donations, it shouldn't also have to pay some corporation for the right to play music for its listeners. Any idea of something more fair?


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: Devilmaster
Date: 23 May 02 - 03:03 PM

I was applauding more to the fact that something that was completely unfair, anyway you look at it, was defeated.

I would be quite happy, if they adopt the exact same payment system that radio stations use.

Over the past few years, all of us have watched how the internet has changed our lives. It is more than, as Kevin Smith put it, a place where techo-geeks go to bitch about movies and share porn.

The internet has and will change the way you look at entertainment. If you try to change the establishment, the powers that be, will fight to the bitter end. The day will come when you never need to go to a record store. Pay a fee, download it and burn it, and you have a CD. You will watch TV on your computer.

You have to look to the future. In the past few years, Napster took music and brought it, right or wrong, in your house. No more going to a mall, looking for the CD, comparing prices, buying it and such. A website, called icravetv.com, took a loophole, broadcast buffalo tv stations on the internet. The loophole you ask? Canadian law at the time did allow someone to rebroadcast tv just as long as you did not alter the signal.(like add your own commercials) He was shut down. Now you have webcasters who, right or wrong, broadcast music on the web.

Some might call these examples criminal acts.

Personally, I see them as visionairies, who are showing what the still growing multimedia internet can do.

To bring this post back to its original point, the internet, along with better technology, has changed the way we do things. Say you like a favorite channel, (for me, WCSX 94.7 Detroit) And in a few years, I can drive a car to California, listening to that one radio station all the way, thanks to webcasting. Perhaps i fly to Europe, I can listen to it there.

Now, if I like a certain musician's music, I always try to buy it directly from the musician.(Tom Lewis is a good example, I can buy his CD's from a local store if I order it, but I'd buy it from him, even if it costs a little more(it never does) because I know all the profits go directly to him. When this technology gets more widespread, sooner or later, some major stars, who have already made a name for themselves, probably could break away from labels and do their own thing. Start their own label. And I'm sure this keeps label execs up at night. In fact, I would love it if it comes to the day that major labels become extinct. But as we all know, they are not going to go gentle into that good night.

IMO, webcasters should and probably will be under the same payment plan as radio. This will kill off some small market guys, unfortunately, but equality is the main issue here.

*stepping off soapbox*
Steve


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 May 02 - 04:11 PM

Thought this might be of some interest...related in a way. I heard about it on NPR this morning and applaud the movement:

U.S. music industry seeks federal 'payola' inquiry
Thu May 23, 8:15 PM ET
By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The recording industry from artists to major labels joined Thursday in a rare show of unity to demand tougher laws barring what they called "payola"-like promotion of music played on the radio.


They also called for a sweeping government review of radio industry consolidation.

Deregulation of the radio business and rampant practices that skirt 40-year-old anti-payola laws stifle competition, drive up music promotional costs and make it harder for new artists to gain attention, the artists and record labels said in a joint statement addressed to the federal regulators and Congress.

The statement was endorsed by a broad coalition of trade groups, led by the powerful Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) (RIAA), which represents major music companies, along with several talent unions and the Grammy-sponsoring National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

But a spokeswoman for the nation's biggest radio station group, Clear Channel Communications Inc., which was singled out for criticism in the letter, dismissed the RIAA's complaints as "absurd." She insisted that decisions about airplay are driven strictly by research showing what the public wants to hear.

Federal law bars radio stations from accepting payments in exchange for playing particular songs on the airwaves -- a practice known as "payola" -- unless that information is disclosed to listeners.

'DE FACTO PAYOLA'

But the music industry coalition says the law is widely circumvented by broadcasters and independent radio promoters through business practices that "we consider a de facto form of payola." Artists, in particular, are hurt because under most recording contracts, promotional costs come out of their royalties, said Michael Bracy of the Future of Music Coalition.

In essence, payments are funneled indirectly to broadcasters from music labels through independent promoters, who ostensibly pay for advance playlist information provided by station groups but use their influence to get certain songs on the air, the coalition said.

"There is widespread concern in the music community about access to the public airwaves and the way independent promotion has evolved," RIAA spokeswoman Amy Weiss told Reuters.

"It's been 40 years since the government has enacted payola laws to address this practice, and it seems appropriate for the government to take a fresh look at this issue."

The groups also criticized broadcasting giants, such as industry leader Clear Channel, which owns 1,225 stations nationwide, for flexing their "sheer market power" in ways that can "make or break a hit song."

Since the radio industry was deregulated by Congress in 1996, Clear Channel and three other large station groups now account for 63 percent of the 41 million listeners who tune into "contemporary hit radio," or Top 40, program formats, the letter said. As a result, decisions about what songs get airplay have become increasingly centralized, it said.

But Clean Channel spokeswoman Pam Taylor said airplay is based solely on research into listeners' musical tastes, and that research is what the labels, through independent promoters, are paying for.

NO TIE BETWEEN DOLLARS AND AIRPLAY?

"There is no relationship between dollars and airplay," Taylor said. "In the end, what matters is whether or not our programming works and we have listeners, and our advertisers, therefore, want to pay to be on the station."

She said the independent promotion business bemoaned by the labels are a product of the music industry, not broadcasters.

"It is blatantly absurd that they attempt to hold the radio industry accountable for the creation or execution of business practices that they control," Taylor said. "The money comes from them."

She also disputed the notion broadcasting consolidation has homogenized radio, saying cross-ownership often has led to a more diverse array of formats in a single market.

And she denied as "unequivocally false" assertions by the music industry that big, vertically integrated companies like Clear Channel, which own concert promotion businesses as well as radio stations, refuse to give airplay to artists whose tours are promoted by rivals.

Reuters/Variety


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 May 02 - 04:20 PM

Interesting, Kat. What caught my eye was the statement from the Clear Channel conglomerate spokesman; they broadcast "what the public wants to hear." We have about 15 local stations and out cable provider gives us about 50 more, but except for one public donation-supported station and the CBC government-sponsored station, only pop, metal, "golden oldies" and the most commercial type of country is available here.
We are a minority. It is difficult to get the broadcasting that we want.


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Subject: RE: Webcast Royalty Plan Rejected
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 02 - 06:18 PM

Oh, that sort of Royalty. I rather though this would be about the Queen getting cold feet about some plan to parade the Royals on the net as a gimmick for the Jubilee. Tips on arboriculture from Charles, merry quips from Philip and so forth.

As for web radio, it seems to me it's not quite the same as the Napster phenomenon, more like steam radio.

I'd think that it's likely that hearing a song by Harvey Andrews, for example (and especially him) would very likely move some people to immediately start looking around on the net to find somewhere where they could buy his records. But that kind of thing ought to be his decision, and the decision of other performers.

I can imagine a setup where artists would choose to allow free play, with some provision that there would be a convenient link on the site to enable listeners to find a place they could buy the record; alternatively they could say they wanted payment. I can't imagine it would be too difficult technically to have this kind of thing taken care of automatically.


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